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Rural societies in the face of climatic and environmental changes in West Africa

Benjamin Sultan
Richard Lalou
Mouftaou Amadou Sanni
et al.

Part I. Recent and future climate change in West Africa. Obvious features, uncertainties and perceptions

Chapter 3. Climate projections in West Africa: the obvious and the uncertain

Abdoulaye Deme, Amadou Thierno Gaye et Frédéric Hourdin

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A serious drought hit West Africa in the 1970s (Nicholson, 1980; Held et al., 2005) whose consequences for agriculture—the main activity of the people in the region—made a serious contribution to late development. Rainfall in the Sahel seems to have recovered since the 2000s, although it is not possible to say whether the trend will last during the coming decades (Paeth and Hense, 2004). This period also coincided with warming that probably resulted from the increase in greenhouse gases (GHG), thus making knowledge of the evolution of rainfall a crucial subject. Indeed, decades of drought punctuated by famines, displacements of populations and economic collapse were replaced by or compounded with heatwaves, flooding in many cases, new outbreaks of certain vector diseases with strong impacts on the health of populations.

In addition, as part of the ongoing climate change, the rainfall regime in West Africa is among those with the greatest uncertainty. This is shown simply ...


Climatologist, Laboratoire des sciences de l’atmosphère et de l’océan (LSAO)/Université Gaston-Berger, Saint-Louis, Senegal

Climatologist, Laboratoire de physique de l’atmosphère et de l’océan Siméon Fongang (LPAOSF)/Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (Senegal)

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