An assessment of changes in the Rainfall Distribution of Abia State (Nigeria) between 1972 and 2050

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Science, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria



Change in rainfall is one of the most critical factors in determining the impact of climate change on Abia state. Annual rainfall data was acquired from HadCM3 baseline and future scenarios between 1972 and 2050 for Abia state. Analysis was performed using Geographical Information System (GIS) and statistical techniques. Descriptive statistics were extracted using statistical methods while for spatial rainfall distribution, standard deviation and coefficient of variation were mapped using GIS interpolation methods. For baseline scenario between 1972 and 2015, annual rainfall minimum, maximum, mean, variability, standard deviation and coefficient of variation in the southern part of Abia state is relatively higher than the northern part of the state which is lower compared to future scenario between 2015 and 2050. Significant changes in rainfall between 2015 to 2050 in-relation to its distribution pattern (using Log Pearson Type III probability distribution) in-terms of its frequency, climate extremes and extreme events is higher than 1972 to 2015. This change in rainfall implies that in Abia state an increase in heavy rainfall with a 0.2% chance exceedance annual rainfall event is likely to become 0.5% chance exceedance event in many regions with a higher emissions scenarios leading to a greater projected decrease in return period. Finally, water requirement for various crops were studied in-relation to effective rainfall and the results reveals that crops receive a high probability of critical rainfall amount in a given year needed for growth between 1972 and 2050. This study provides information on rainfall trend on a long-term basis and impact of climate change on Abia state which will be very useful for water resource management, agriculture and economic development of the region.


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