Malawi has increasingly been exposed to extreme weather conditions in the recent past, seeing six very wet and five very dry summers between 1997 and 2011. The average temperature in the country increased by 0.9°C from 1960 to 2006, showing increases in both maximum and minimum temperatures. The average number of hot days has increased with 30.5, while the average number of hot nights has increased with 41 since 1960, affecting mid-summer the most (December-February). The increasing temperatures in Malawi are consistent with the global trends, as well as the trends in Sub-Saharan Africa, where temperatures are expected to increase by 1°C by 2030.
Climate changes already affect the more than 84 percent of Malawians who depend on rain-fed agriculture and other natural resource based livelihoods. Future scenarios could leave the population at increased risk of hunger and food insecurity, most probably due to droughts. Data on precipitation between 1960 and 2006 indicates that rainfall has decreased in most regions overall. However, increases in rainfall during the highest rainfall months (January and February), in addition to the unpredictability related to both the amount and timing of the rain, are also damaging, as evident by this year’s extreme rainfalls resulting in floods in several districts. Evaporation loss has exacerbated from 1971 to 2000, which became disturbingly visible in 1995 when Malawi’s second largest water body, Lake Chilwa, completely dried up for the second time in the history of the country.
CSJ will be implementing a number of projects which will be aimed at contributing to climate change adaptation, mitigation; research and systematic observation, technology development and transfer.
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