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Cyclones and More Frequent Storms Threaten Africa

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May 24, 2022

Global warming is causing an increase in the frequency and intensity of storms in Africa, which are exacerbating other socioeconomic stressors across the continent.

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  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that, as a result of global warming, the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall events will increase for most of tropical Africa (while parts of northern and southern Africa will become drier). This translates into a significantly increased risk of flooding.
  • Runoff in the Congo River basin, for example, is projected to increase by 50 percent, elevating flooding risks, especially flash flooding, across large parts of Central Africa.
  • Rising global temperatures, based on their current trajectory, are also expected to increase rainfall in parts of the Greater Horn of African by over 40 percent. Extraordinarily heavy rains in East Africa in recent years have contributed to the worst desert locust outbreak to hit the region in the past 25 years.