Climate change: West Africa’s oceans at risk because of a lack of monitoring

The West African coastline is a source of livelihood for millions. Wikimedia Commons/Paul Walter

The West African Canary Current extends along the north-west African coast, from the northern Atlantic coast of Morocco to Guinea-Bissau. It’s a hotspot for changes in the oceans driven by climate change. These include rising temperatures, ocean acidification and ocean deoxygenation. All affect marine life on multiple levels.

The current is one of the world’s most productive ocean ecosystems, a consequence of the upwelling of cold and nutrient-rich waters. Ecosystems like this provide around 20% of global fish catches and support livelihoods in coastal communities.

From 2016 -2019, we worked with an international team to draw attention to the impacts of climate change on the West African Canary Current. In a recent publication, we described the limited economic and institutional capacity to monitor and respond to climate variability and change in the countries bordering the West African Canary Current and the urgent need to build scientific capacity in the region in order address this shortcoming.

Todd L. Capson & Marie Boyd, The Conversation, 9 November 2022. Full article.

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