Climatic Change

, Volume 138, Issue 1–2, pp 111–125

The El Niño – La Niña cycle and recent trends in supply and demand of net primary productivity in African drylands

  • A. M. Abdi
  • A. Vrieling
  • G. T. Yengoh
  • A. Anyamba
  • J. W. Seaquist
  • C. C. Ummenhofer
  • J. Ardö
Article

Abstract

Inter-annual climatic variability over a large portion of sub-Saharan Africa is under the influence of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Extreme variability in climate is a threat to rural livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa, yet the role of ENSO in the balance between supply and demand of net primary productivity (NPP) over this region is unclear. Here, we analyze the impact of ENSO on this balance in a spatially explicit framework using gridded population data from the WorldPop project, satellite-derived data on NPP supply, and statistical data from the United Nations. Our analyses demonstrate that between 2000 and 2013 fluctuations in the supply of NPP associated with moderate ENSO events average ± 2.8 g C m−2 yr.−1 across sub-Saharan drylands. The greatest sensitivity is in arid Southern Africa where a + 1 °C change in the Niño-3.4 sea surface temperature index is associated with a mean change in NPP supply of −6.6 g C m−2 yr.−1. Concurrently, the population-driven trend in NPP demand averages 3.5 g C m−2 yr.−1 over the entire region with densely populated urban areas exhibiting the highest mean demand for NPP. Our findings highlight the importance of accounting for the role ENSO plays in modulating the balance between supply and demand of NPP in sub-Saharan drylands. An important implication of these findings is that increase in NPP demand for socio-economic metabolism must be taken into account within the context of climate-modulated supply.

Keywords

Sub-Saharan Africa Drylands El Niño-southern oscillation Net primary productivity Climate variability 

Supplementary material

10584_2016_1730_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.9 mb)
ESM 1(DOCX 1906 kb)

References

  1. Abdi AM, Seaquist J, Tenenbaum DE, Eklundh L, Ardo J (2014) The supply and demand of net primary production in the Sahel. Environ Res Lett 9:094003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abdissa F, Degefa T (2011) Urbanization and changing livelihoods: the case of farmers’ displacement in the expansion of Addis Ababa. In: Teller C (ed) The demographic transition and development in Africa: the unique case of Ethiopia. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp. 215–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adugna A, Hailemariam A (2011) Rural–urban linkages in ethiopia: insuring rural livelihoods and development of urban centers. In: Teller C (ed) The demographic transition and development in Africa. Springer, Netherlands, pp. 167–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ahlström A, Raupach MR, Schurgers G, Smith B, Arneth A, Jung M, Reichstein M, Canadell JG, Friedlingstein P, Jain AK, Kato E, Poulter B, Sitch S, Stocker BD, Viovy N, Wang YP, Wiltshire A, Zaehle S, Zeng N (2015) The dominant role of semi-arid ecosystems in the trend and variability of the land CO2 sink. Science 348:895–899CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andela N, van der Werf GR (2014) Recent trends in African fires driven by cropland expansion and el Nino to La Nina transition. Nat Clim Chang 4:791–795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bailis R, Drigo R, Ghilardi A, Masera O (2015) The carbon footprint of traditional woodfuels. Nat Clim Chang 5:266–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barrett CB (2010) Measuring food insecurity. Science 327:825–828CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barrett CB, Upton JB (2013) Food security and sociopolitical stability in sub-Saharan Africa. Food security and sociopolitical stability. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Battisti DS, Naylor RL (2009) Historical warnings of future food insecurity with unprecedented seasonal heat. Science 323:240–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bekunda M, Sanginga N, Woomer PL (2010) Restoring soil fertility in sub-Sahara Africa. In Donald LS (ed.) Advances in agronomy. Academic Press, pp. 183–236Google Scholar
  11. Bolognesi M, Vrieling A, Rembold F, Gadain H (2015) Rapid mapping and impact estimation of illegal charcoal production in southern Somalia based on WorldView-1 imagery. Energy Sustain Dev 25:40–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cai W, Santoso A, Wang G, Yeh S-W, An S-I, Cobb KM, Collins M, Guilyardi E, Jin F-F, Kug J-S, Lengaigne M, McPhaden MJ, Takahashi K, Timmermann A, Vecchi G, Watanabe M, Wu L (2015) ENSO and greenhouse warming. Nat Clim Chang 5:849–859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Campbell MM, Casterline J, Castillo F, Graves A, Hall TL, May JF, Perlman D, Potts M, Speidel JJ, Walsh J, Wehner MF, Zulu EM (2014) Population and climate change: who will the grand convergence leave behind? The Lancet Global Health 2:e253–e254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cane MA, Eshel G, Buckland RW (1994) Forecasting Zimbabwean maize yield using eastern equatorial Pacific Sea surface temperature. Nature 370:204–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cheung Y-W, de Haan J, Qian X, Yu S (2012) China's outward direct investment in Africa. Rev Int Econ 20:201–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eozenou PH-V, Madani D, Swinkels R (2013) Poverty, malnutrition and vulnerability in Mali. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6561. The World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  17. FAO (2011) Review of the availability and quality of official data from African commission on agricultural statistics member countries. Food and agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Addis Ababa, EthiopiaGoogle Scholar
  18. FAO (2013) CountrySTAT Mali. Statistics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  19. FAOSTAT (2015) FAO statistical databases. Food and agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  20. Fetzel T, Niedertscheider M, Haberl H, Krausmann F, Erb K-H (2016) Patterns and changes of land use and land-use efficiency in Africa 1980–2005: an analysis based on the human appropriation of net primary production framework. Reg Environ Change 16:1507–1520Google Scholar
  21. FEWSNET (2016) Southern Africa: illustrating the extent and severity of the 2015–16 drought. Famine Early Warning Systems Network/USAIDGoogle Scholar
  22. Giannini A, Biasutti M, Held IM, Sobel AH (2008) A global perspective on African climate. Clim Chang 90:359–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Greve P, Orlowsky B, Mueller B, Sheffield J, Reichstein M, Seneviratne SI (2014) Global assessment of trends in wetting and drying over land. Nat Geosci 7:716–721CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. IPCC (2014) Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USAGoogle Scholar
  25. Itannam F, Olsson M (2004) Land degradation in Addis Ababa due to industrial and urban development. Ethiopian J Dev Res 26:77–100Google Scholar
  26. Knox J, Hess T, Daccache A, Wheeler T (2012) Climate change impacts on crop productivity in Africa and South Asia. Environ Res Lett 7:034032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Korecha D, Barnston AG (2007) Predictability of June–September rainfall in Ethiopia. Mon Weather Rev 135:628–650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Korecha D, Sorteberg A (2013) Validation of operational seasonal rainfall forecast in Ethiopia. Water Resour Res 49:7681–7697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Linard C, Gilbert M, Snow RW, Noor AM, Tatem AJ (2012) Population distribution, settlement patterns and accessibility across Africa in 2010. PLoS One 7:e31743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mann HB (1945) Nonparametric tests against trend. Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society:245–259Google Scholar
  31. Maxwell D, Fitzpatrick M (2012) The 2011 Somalia famine: context, causes, and complications. Global Food Security 1:5–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Moller LC (2012) The Ethiopian urban migration study 2008: the characteristics, motives and outcomes to immigrants to Addis Ababa. The World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  33. Monteith JL (1972) Solar radiation and productivity in tropical ecosystems. J Appl Ecol 9:747–766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nicholson SE (2011) Dryland climatology. Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  35. Philippon N, Martiny N, Camberlin P, Hoffman MT, Gond V (2014) Timing and patterns of the ENSO signal in Africa over the last 30 Years: insights from normalized difference vegetation index data. J Clim 27:2509–2532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pires M (2003) The spatial polarization of woodfuel supply and demand in Senegal. African Geographical Review 22:29–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Reda DT, Engida AN, Asfaw DH, Hamdi R (2015) Analysis of precipitation based on ensembles of regional climate model simulations and observational databases over Ethiopia for the period 1989–2008. Int J Climatol 35:948–971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Robertson B, Pinstrup-Andersen P (2010) Global land acquisition: neo-colonialism or development opportunity? Food Sec 2:271–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Running SW (2012) A measurable planetary boundary for the biosphere. Science 337:1458–1459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Seaquist JW, Johansson EL, Nicholas KA (2014) Architecture of the global land acquisition system: applying the tools of network science to identify key vulnerabilities. Environ Res Lett 9:114006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sissoko K, van Keulen H, Verhagen J, Tekken V, Battaglini A (2011) Agriculture, livelihoods and climate change in the west African Sahel. Reg Environ Chang 11:119–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Stige LC, Stave J, Chan K-S, Ciannelli L, Pettorelli N, Glantz M, Herren HR, Stenseth NC (2006) The effect of climate variation on agro-pastoral production in Africa. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103:3049–3053CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. van Vuuren DP, Edmonds J, Kainuma M, Riahi K, Thomson A, Hibbard K, Hurtt GC, Kram T, Krey V, Lamarque J-F, Masui T, Meinshausen M, Nakicenovic N, Smith SJ, Rose SK (2011) The representative concentration pathways: an overview. Clim Chang 109:5–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wilcox R (2012) Chapter 10 - robust regression. Introduction to robust estimation and hypothesis testing, Third edn. Academic Press, Boston, pp. 471–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wolde-Georgis T (ed) (2002) The impact of cold events on Ethiopia. United Nations University Press, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  46. Yengoh G, Armah F (2015) Effects of large-scale acquisition on food insecurity in Sierra Leone. Sustainability 7:9505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. You L, Ringler C, Wood-Sichra U, Robertson R, Wood S, Zhu T, Nelson G, Guo Z, Sun Y (2011) What is the irrigation potential for Africa? A combined biophysical and socioeconomic approach. Food Policy 36:770–782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zetland D, Möller-Gulland J (2013) The political economy of land and water grabs. In: Allan JA, Keulertz M, Sojamo S, Warner J (eds) Handbook of land and water grabs in Africa: foreign direct investment and food and water security. Routledge, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhao M, Running S, Heinsch FA, Nemani R (2011) MODIS-derived terrestrial primary production. In: Ramachandran B, Justice CO, Abrams MJ (eds) Land remote sensing and global environmental change. Springer, New York, pp. 635–660Google Scholar
  50. Zulu LC (2010) The forbidden fuel: charcoal, urban woodfuel demand and supply dynamics, community forest management and woodfuel policy in Malawi. Energ Policy 38:3717–3730CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Abdi
    • 1
  • A. Vrieling
    • 2
  • G. T. Yengoh
    • 3
  • A. Anyamba
    • 4
  • J. W. Seaquist
    • 1
  • C. C. Ummenhofer
    • 5
  • J. Ardö
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem ScienceLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth ObservationUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Lund University Center for Sustainability StudiesLundSweden
  4. 4.Goddard Space Flight Center, Biospheric Sciences LaboratoryNational Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbeltUSA
  5. 5.Department of Physical OceanographyWoods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA

Personalised recommendations