Potential impacts of climate change on extreme weather events in the Niger Delta part of Nigeria

Hassan, Ibrahim and Kalin, Robert M. and Aladejana, Jamiu A. and White, Christopher J. (2020) Potential impacts of climate change on extreme weather events in the Niger Delta part of Nigeria. Hydrology, 7 (1). 19. ISSN 2306-5338

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    The Niger Delta is the most climate-vulnerable region in Nigeria. Flooding events are recorded annually in settlements along the River Niger and its tributaries, inundating many towns and displacing people from their homes. In this study, climate change impacts from extreme meteorological events over the period 2010-2099 are predicted and analyzed. Four coupled model intercomparison project phase 5 (CMIP5) global climate models (GCMs) under respectively concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) emission scenarios were used for climate change predictions. Standardized precipitation indices (SPI) of 1-month and 12-month time steps were used for extreme event assessment. Results from the climate change scenarios predict an increase in rainfall across all future periods and under both emission scenarios, with the highest projected increase during the last three decades of the century. Under the RCP8.5 emission scenario, the rainfall at Port Harcourt and Yenagoa Stations is predicted to increase by about 2.47% and 2.62% while the rainfall atWarri Station is predicted to increase by about 1.39% toward the end of the century. The 12-month SPI under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios predict an exceedance in the extreme wet threshold (i.e., SPI > 2) during all future periods and across all study locations. These findings suggest an increasing risk of flooding within the projected periods. The finding can be useful to policymakers for the formulation and planning of flood mitigation and adaptation measures.