Climate Change and its Impact on Society in Sub-Saharan Africa

Olufemi Vaughan (Africana Studies & History) and Mark Battle (Physics and Astronomy)

How can power plants in the US and China flood coastal  Africa and change the patterns of rainfall in the Sahel?  What will these changes mean for the socio-economic structure and stability of this part of the world?  This class will briefly explore the science linking the buildup of greenhouse gasses to projected changes in African climate.  We will then focus on a case study from Nigeria (Africa’s most populous and diverse country), exploring the link between climate change, state policy, and political conflict in Africa. The class will also discuss adaptation measures based on inclusive planning and implementation, capable of responding to the growing crisis at the intersection of climate change and state policy in Nigeria. The latter part of this class will be based on an article “Climate Change Adaptation and Conflict in Nigeria,” by Aaron Sayne (Special Report, United States Institute of Peace, June 2011)