Climate change impact on Meteorological hazards in the Volta River Basin, West Africa
Limantol, Andrew Manoba
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Climate change has increasingly become a serious threat to meteorological hazards such as drought and flood. The slightest changes in temperature and rainfall patterns could have asignificant implication on economic activities in many countries around the world.InWestAfrica,theVolta riverbasin(Fig 1)is an important transboundary basinin the regionsharedby six ripariancountries (i.e.Burkina Faso, Togo,Benin,Côted’Ivoire, Niger and Ghana). These countries over the last few decades have been affected by increased intense rainfall events and long dry spells which often resulted in floods and droughts, causing many losses and damages. This makes the basin with a population of over 24 million vulnerable to the impact of climate change and extreme events. In the basin, experiences in the past have shown that there are occasional erratic rainfall periods that characterize the three zones (Ndehedehe et al.2017).Previous studies in Ghana indicate that climate extremes such as floods have resulted in drastic reduction in the national out put of maize(6.3%)and rice(9.3%)(Stutley,2010).This is problematic as it has serious implications on household food security, as a result ofthe rising prices of food commodities (Wossenetal.,2018), thereby affecting the attainment of sustainable development.However,only handful of studies (e.g.Aziz,2015;Larbietal2018;Okafor et al. 2021) on changes in climate and extremes under different climate scenarios over the basin exists. In order to address this gap, this study aims to contribute to the basic. understanding of climate change, its impact on meteorological hazards and make policy recommendations that will contribute to achieving Sustainable Development in the Volta basin, West Africa. Specifically, to: (i) analyze the changes in rainfall and temperature under Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) scenarios (SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5) for the period 1985-2014 relative to 2021-2050 period over the Volta basin; and (ii) assess the spatio-temporal changes in meteorological extreme indices at the Basin between two periods (i.e. 1985-2014 and 2021-2050). Information derived from this research is useful for planning and designing climate change adaptation measures to achieve Sustainable Development at the Basin.