Reasons have been adduced for why the Southwest geopolitical zone in Nigeria has been experiencing low rains this year, according to the Monthly Climate Gist, coming from the Early Warning System (EWS), Geospatial Laboratory, Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), Abeokuta, Ogun State. Furthermore, it has also been revealed why access to the troposphere, through near real-time data, has put man in charge of the planet to monitor and avert imminent disasters.
Taking a look at Southwest, Nigeria, which is located in the tropical rainforest belt of West Africa, which typically experiences two rainy seasons each year – a long rainy season from March to July, and a short rainy season from September to November, the timing and amount of rainfall can vary from year to year, due to various factors. From the report, one of the reasons for delayed or low rainfall could be climate change, which is causing changes in weather patterns around the world. Climate change can lead to prolonged droughts and unpredictable rainfall patterns, which can have significant impact on agriculture, food security, and water availability.
“These are climate patterns that can affect rainfall patterns around the world. During an El Niño event, the sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean rise, which can cause droughts in some parts of the world, including West Africa. On the other hand, during a La Niña event, the sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are cooler than usual, which can lead to increased rainfall in some regions. The amount of rainfall a region receives is also influenced by atmospheric conditions, such as the amount of moisture in the air, the temperature, and the presence of weather systems like high-pressure systems or tropical depressions.
“These factors can influence the amount and timing of rainfall in a particular region. Human activities like deforestation, land use changes, and urbanisation can also affect rainfall patterns in a region. For instance, deforestation can lead to a decrease in rainfall by reducing the amount of moisture in the air and altering the local climate. In conclusion, delayed or low rainfall in Southwest, Nigeria in May 2023, could be due to a combination of these factors or other local factors specific to the region. It is important to note that weather patterns are complex and influenced by many factors, and it is difficult to attribute any single event to a specific cause without further analysis and data”, the report added.
The Early Warning System (EWS) ground-receiving station is located at IFSERAR, under its Environmental Resources and Conservation Research Programme. The station is a ground-receiving station connected to Eumetsat in Darmstadt, Germany. Near real-time information on climate events are received and used for advisory services to farmers in Southwest, Nigeria most especially, in Ogun State. The laboratory also provides historical data up to 30 years to researchers on how they are carrying out climate-related research as well as a training centre for people, who are willing to undergo short training programmes in Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing. In another development, Dr. John Oyedepo of IFSERAR, has disclosed that access to the troposphere, through near real-time data, has put man in charge of the planet to monitor and avert imminent disasters.
He made this disclosure during the monthly seminar of the institute with the topic: ‘Harnessing Information from the Lower Troposphere for Human and Food Security’, adding that man can only be limited only by his imaginations. According to him, “Server to server forecasts are increasingly being used across public health, agriculture, water resources management, renewable energy and utilities and emergency management, and response sectors in both developed and emerging economies. Crucially, these point to the fact that a platform towards the creation of a global community of researchers and users with a shared aim of exploring and promoting applications of this new generation of forecasts”.
Dr. Oyedepo explained that the continuous interaction of oceans with the atmosphere, changes the surface temperature of seas and these have been known to have profound effects on global climate and its increases have led to a rise in the amount of atmospheric water vapour and rainfall over the oceans and the land. It is, therefore, a strong indicator of productivity, pollution, and global climate change and this can be measured using thermal infrared, he stated. He maintained that the gamut of information that “can help humans make decisions that affect survival in the lower troposphere and having access to them, understanding them, and correctly interpreting them”.
The don further stressed that “climate information for one is crucial to the functioning of many earth-systems including sustainability of food and health systems”. From the above analysis, it is hoped that from the reasons adduced for why the Southwest geopolitical zone in Nigeria has been experiencing low rains this year, and the imperative of why access to the troposphere, through near real-time data that had put man in charge of the planet to monitor and avert imminent disasters, our environment would certainly be safer and better protected.