21st century climate change affects the entire globe: every ecosystem, every mountain range, all the glaciers, all the land, the oceans. But of all continents it’s often said that Africa will face the biggest impacts.
African climate change is far from a uniform process though. Large geographical differences occur across the continent, that together form a pattern, as for all the African regions changes in temperature and precipitation are directly influenced by changes in the general circulation of the atmosphere.
While it’s clear that some regions will get really dry, others may get really wet, and some may warm faster than others; it is climate impacts on Africa’s tropical heartland that are perhaps most uncertain, as different climate models have a hard time capturing both the present and future convective precipitation that the Congolese rainforests depend on – rainforests that in turn are hugely important for the health of our planet as they are Africa’s densest biodiversity hotspot and a carbon store weighing in at a 60 gigatonne significance to the global climate system.