There is a claim that Africa is always hot, so there’s no climate change emergency. This was a tweet reply on April 4, 2023, to a post about how western Africa is still one of the hottest places on the planet right now.
According to the World Population Review, six of the top ten hottest countries in the world are from Africa: Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Djibouti, Mauritania, and Gambia. Mali is the hottest country in the world, with an average yearly temperature of 83.89°F (28.83°C). located in West Africa.
The Sahara desert in North Africa is the world’s largest hot desert and one of the driest places on the planet. The temperatures in the Sahara can reach up to 136 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius) during the day and drop to freezing temperatures at night, according to the World Atlas.
However, the Sahara is not representative of all of Africa. According to National Geographic, Africa has five climate zones: tropical, desert, Mediterranean, savanna, and subarctic. The different climate zones determine the types of vegetation, wildlife, and lifestyles of the people who live there.
East Africa has a tropical climate with two rainy seasons, with temperatures in the coastal regions generally warm all year and cooler in the highlands influenced by the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, the Indian Monsoon, and the El Niño Southern Oscillation, which affect temperatures in the region. “The current climate in East Africa ranges from cool, moist conditions in the western highlands to hot, arid, and semi-arid conditions in northern Kenya, southeast Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia. Temperatures have risen by approximately 1.3 °C since 1960,” according to the UNDP Climate Change Adaptation.
“South Africa has both sub-tropical and temperate climate conditions, which are influenced by the ocean along the east and west coasts as well as the interior plateaus, bringing a cool, wet climate in the Drakensberg region to a warm, subtropical climate in the north east, a Mediterranean climate in the south west, and a warm, dry desert environment in the central west and north west,” the World Bank’s Climate Knowledge Portal states.
According to the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR), in West Africa, the Guinea Savannah dominates the landscape, where the weather is hot and humid. This region is characterized by a long rainy season and a short dry season. In Central Africa, the climate is normally hot and humid all year round, with most of the rain falling during the rainy season from April to October. The rainforest regions of the Congo Basin are a biodiversity hotspot, characterized by high rainfall and high temperatures. The savannahs of the Sahel region, which stretch from Senegal to Sudan, experience semi-arid conditions with long dry seasons interrupted by short rainy seasons.
This claim that Africa is always hot is not TRUE. Africa is a vast continent with diverse climates and temperatures. While some areas may experience high temperatures throughout the year, others have cooler temperatures and even experience snow.