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Towards Warmer Onsets of Wet and Dry Seasons in the Forest Belt of Nigeria

https://doi.org/10.20987/jmrs.1.01.2017
Godwin O. Atedhor and Rebecca O. John-Abebe
Department of Geography and Regional Planning,
University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
Corresponding Author:
Godwin O. Atedhor

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Abstract

This paper examined the trends of warming during the onsets of the wet and dry seasons in the forest belt of Nigeria using monthly temperature data collected from the archives of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency. Simple linear regression and correlation were used to investigate the annual trends and significance of the trends of mean temperatures respectively while t-test was used to examine the variations of mean temperatures during the onsets of the wet and dry season from the annual mean. The results revealed significant upward trends in all the synoptic weather stations with Ondo and Warri having the highest and lowest rates of warming of the onset of the wet seasons at 0.0310 C and 0.0240 C respectively. Ondo and Benin equally experienced the highest rate of warming during the onset of the dry season at 0.0320 C while the lowest rate was in Calabar at 0.0170 C. Mean temperature varied significantly between the onset of the wet season and annual warming with Warri, Ondo, Port Harcourt, Benin and Calabar having t-test values of 20.350, 21.376, 11.529, 21.818, 11.132 (P < 0.05) respectively and between the onset of the dry season and annual warming 7.950, 13.073, 2.801, 9.789 and 15.616 (P < 0.05) respectively. The projected mean temperatures based on linear growth for the onset of the wet season from 2012 to 2112 (100 years) showed that Ondo will be hottest at 32.580 C while Port Harcourt will be the coldest at 320 C whereas in the onset of the dry season, Ondo and Benin will be the hottest at 3.170 C each while Calabar will be the coldest at 29.090 C. The paper concludes that there is significant upward trend of mean temperature during the onsets of the wet and dry seasons and, ceteris paribus, Ondo and Warri will become the hottest and coldest respectively in the onset of the wet season while Ondo and Benin will be hottest in the onset of the dry season while Calabar will be the coldest by 2112. Mulching, irrigation, increased intake of fluids and reduction of outdoor activities are recommended during the onset of the wet season. ­
Key words: Onset of wet season, onset of dry season, temperature, warming, forest belt, Nigeria

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