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Climate change: Experts warn over increasing heatwave in Nigeria

Some lecturers in the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in Rivers State on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 blamed the increasing heatwave mostly experienced at night to change in global temperature.

heat wave
Above-danger heat stress: A man cools off amid searing heat wave

Prof. Prince Mmon, an environmentalist in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, UNIPORT, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Mmon, who is the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, said the steady rise in global temperature was caused by natural and anthropogenic activities.

“Basically, the weather is very hot these days, especially at night. Incidentally, this unpredictable weather phenomenon is being experienced in every part of the country.

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“This alarming situation is largely traceable to climate change which is here with us and can no longer be disputed by even the worst cynics.

“Global warming is increasing affecting every part of the world – which is symptomatic of the adverse effects of climate change,” he said.

The university don blamed the change in climate in Nigeria to activities of oil and gas companies and bush burning, among others.

Mmon added that emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as well as other factors constituted “a kind of ceiling that prevents radiation of heat on the Earth’s plain.”

“The current heat wave could lead to drought, skin burn, health complications and may even result in death.

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“It is in our best interest to reduce such human activities that threaten the environment as gas flaring and emission from industrial plants.

“We need to embark on aggressive agro-forestation, such as deliberate tree planting. We need to take urgent measures to reverse the trend if we are to survive,” he advised.

Also speaking, the Director of School of Public Health in UNIPORT, Prof. Best Ordinioha, said the current heat wave could lead to fatalities, if urgent steps were not taken to reverse the trend.

According to him, the heat wave is dangerous due to excessive sweat the human body releases to cool its temperature.

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“So, as we sweat, we lose electrolytes. Inability of the body to replace the lost electrolytes will inevitably lead to muscle cramps.

“Also, the heat which occurs mostly at night, leads to poor sleep, resulting to reduced productivity and poor mental performance,” he said.

Ordinioha said that the human body became hot only when it was unable to dissipate heat through the lack of evaporation that depended on humidity and wind flow.

By Desmond Ejibas

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