Climate change and implications for agriculture in Niger

Abstract

Five-year moving averages of annual rainfall for 21 locations in Niger showed a decline in the annual rainfall after 1960. Correlation coefficients of the moving averages of monthly rainfall with annual rainfall showed significant correlations between the decline in the annual rainfall with decreased rainfall in August. Analysis of daily rainfall data for rainy season parameters of interest to agriculture suggested that from 1965 there was a significant decrease in the amount of rainfall and in the number of rainy days in the months of July and August, resulting in a decreased volume of rainfall for each rainstorm. In comparison to the period 1945–64, major shifts have occurred in the average dates of onset and ending of rains during 1965–88. The length of the growing season was reduced by 5–20 days across different locations in Niger. The standard deviation for the onset and ending of the rains as well as the length of the growing season has increased, implying that cropping has become more risky. Water balance calculations also demonstrated that the probability of rainfall exceeding potential evapotranspiration decreased during the growing season. The implications of these changes for agriculture in Niger are discussed using field data.

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Sivakumar, M.V.K. Climate change and implications for agriculture in Niger. Climatic Change 20, 297–312 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00142424

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Keywords

  • Standard Deviation
  • Climate Change
  • Rainy Season
  • Annual Rainfall
  • Field Data