Risk Profile for Somalia reveals high exposure to future climate change impacts

02/24/2022 - Due to climate change, Somalia and its people will increasingly suffer from heatwaves, scarce water availability, and sea-level rise, with the average air temperature rising between 1.5 - 2.3 °C by 2050. This is the result of the ‘Climate Risk Profile Somalia’, published today by the multi-disciplinary climate security initiative Weathering Risk that is jointly led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the think tank adelphi.
Risk Profile for Somalia reveals high exposure to future climate change impacts

"Our results show how vulnerable Somalia already is to the impacts of climate change and how strongly those impacts will intensify in the future”, says Lisa Binder, research analyst at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK) and co-author of the Somalia Risk Profile. Already today, the country is experiencing its worst drought in a decade, with millions going hungry and many being forced to leave their homes in search for food and water.  “As air temperatures rise, Somalia will be increasingly vulnerable to heatwaves, which will translate to a significant increase in heat-related deaths. Climate change will also affect future water availability, crop yields, and ecosystems and will negatively impact health conditions and the country’s economy.“

The Climate Risk Profile Somalia provides policymakers and practitioners in the field with an overview of projected climate parameters and related impacts on different sectors from now until 2080 under two different climate change scenarios. The projections presented in the publication are the product of a collaboration between Weathering Risk and the AGRICA project from PIK. They draw on the data and modelling work done by PIK’s ISIMIP Project.

Climate change impacts do not only undermine livelihoods, but also interact with conflict and instability in very complex ways. For example, frequent droughts can cause herders to sell more of their livestock than they would under normal conditions, resulting in plummeting livestock prices and deteriorating rural incomes. Widespread poverty and lack of economic alternatives, in turn, provide incentives for illicit activities and for joining armed groups.

When analyzed alongside localized human security data, these projections can inform climate-security risk assessments to support strategic and operational risk-informed decision making and identify entry points for action. Therefore, climate change information as given in the Climate Risk Profile Somalia is crucial to support decision-making towards a more climate-resilient and peaceful future.