Climate Risk Profile: Somalia

Weathering Risk’s 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. This is the first step in building a risk-informed climate security analysis.
An aerial photograph of a sea shore with sand and rocks

Humanitarian organisations in Somalia warn that the country is currently 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.

The models employed for Climate Risk Profile: Somalia project with a high degree of certainty that until 2080 Somalia will experience higher average air temperatures and more frequent very hot days. Higher exposure to heatwaves will very likely lead to an increase in heat-related mortality. Heatwaves will also impact the Somalian economy, and projected sea-level rise threatens the livelihoods of coastal communities, including those in the capital Mogadishu.  Climate Risk Profile: Somalia also includes lower-certainty projections for precipitation, water availability, crop yields, ecosystems and floods.

Such information is crucial to support decision-making towards a more climate-resilient and peaceful future. Long-term planning that promotes resilience in Somalia will also require understanding how climate change interacts with conflict and instability to affect the lives of Somalians. For example,  researchers have previously found that frequent droughts in Somalia 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 such as al Shabaab, which offer cash revenues and other benefits to their fighters. In particular, the record drought of 2011 is believed to have considerably swelled the ranks of the militant Islamist group.

The climate projections presented in Climate Risk Profile: Somalia are the product of a collaboration between Weathering Risk and the AGRICA project from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK). They draw on the data and modelling work done by PIK’s ISIMIP Project.

In this video, Lisa Binder of PIK explains the key climate change projections and related sectoral impacts as presented in Climate Risk Profile: Somalia. When analysed alongside localised human security data, these projections can be used to inform climate-security risk assessments to support strategic and operational risk-informed decision making and identify entry points for action.

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