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Fact Sheet 2012–3062

Famine Early Warning Systems Network—Informing Climate Change Adaptation Series

A Climate Trend Analysis of Uganda

By Chris Funk, Jim Rowland, Gary Eilerts, and Libby White

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.69 MB)Abstract

This brief report, drawing from a multi-year effort by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), identifies observed changes in rainfall and temperature in Uganda, based on an analysis of a quality-controlled, long time series of station observations throughout Uganda. Extending recent trends forward, it also provides a current and near-future context for understanding the actual nature of climate change impacts in the country, and a basis for identifying climate adaptations that may protect and improve the country’s food security.

• Both spring and summer rains have decreased in Uganda during the past 25 years.
• The magnitude of observed warming, especially since the early 1980s, is large and unprecedented within the past 110 years, representing a large (2+ standard deviations) change from the climatic norm.
• Cropping regions in the west and northwest appear most affected by the observed changes in climate.
• Rainfall declines in the west and northwest threaten Uganda’s future food production prospects.
• Warming temperatures may be adversely affecting coffee production.
• Rapid population growth and the expansion of farming and pastoralism under a drier and warmer climate regime could dramatically increase the number of at risk people in Uganda during the next 20 years.
• In many cases, areas with changing climate are coincident with zones of substantial conflict, indicating some degree of association; however, the contribution of climate change to these conflicts is not currently understood.

First posted June 20, 2012

For additional information contact:
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
U.S. Geological Survey
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57198

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Funk, C., Rowland, J., Eilerts, G., and White, L., 2012, A Climate Trend Analysis of Uganda, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3062, 4 p.



A Context for Adapting Food Security to Climate Changes in Uganda

Observed and Projected Rainfall Trends

Observed and Projected Temperature Trends

Population Pressure and Stagnating Agricultural Growth

A Convergence of Evidence

Some Implications for Food Security and Adaptation Efforts

Objectives and Methods


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