Africa already feeling effects of climate change, will be hit harder

While some people question whether climate change is happening, many Africans are already beginning to feel its effects — and, says a new U.N. report, the continent is at greater risk than previously thought. Some 480 million Africans could face water-security issues by 2025 and more than 70 million may be at risk from coastal flooding by 2080, the report warns. More prevalent droughts will bring down crop yields and may contribute to an upswing in violence — a recent study found that one of the most reliable predictors of civil war is lack of rain. Rainfall in the sub-Saharan region has declined 25 percent in the last 30 years, and the number of food emergencies in Africa each year has tripled since the mid-1980s. Says policy analyst Francis Kornegay in Johannesburg, South Africa: “You have climate change and reduced rainfall and shrinking areas of arable land; and then you add population growth and you have the elements of an explosion.” Call it the shot ignored ’round the world.