Climate Change in the Sahel – Sarah Diminuco

In 2018, critical deficits in rainfall across the Sahel region of Africa led to an increasing need for humanitarian aid. The Sahel falls between the Sahara Desert and tropical rainforests. Due to these stark differences, the climate is extremely variable. Additionally, the region is centrally located between the northern and the southern hemisphere.  In the past, the rate at which the two hemispheres do not warm and cool at the same rate. The tropical rain-belts are drawn towards the warmer hemisphere, which is the more northern region, which will then lead to a drought when the southern hemisphere is warmer and the rain-belts pulled towards the southern region (Sahel Drought). The effect of global warming can have detrimental effects on the future of the region.

The unpredictable weather pattern has made the region susceptible to food insecurity and malnutrition. According to the UN Special Advisor of Sahel, the region is one of the most vulnerable to climate change with the largest number of people affected by global warming (UN, 2018). The livelihood of many is at risk, including pastoralists, due to lack of water supply. Climate change aggravates the challenges that the population is faced with.


“Sahel Drought: Understanding the Past and Projecting into the Future.” GFDL,

“UN: Sahel Region One of the Most Vulnerable to Climate Change.” Cimate Centre, 2018,

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