Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 355

Full Length Research Paper

An integrated approach to delineation of the eco-climatic zones in Northern Nigeria

AbdulKadir, A.
  • AbdulKadir, A.
  • Department of Geography, Federal University of Technology, PMB 65, Minna, Bosso Campus Niger, Nigeria.
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Usman, M. T.
  • Usman, M. T.
  • Department of Geography, Federal University of Technology, PMB 65, Minna, Bosso Campus Niger, Nigeria.
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Shaba, A. H.
  • Shaba, A. H.
  • Strategic Space Applications, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), PMB 437, Garki Abuja, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 18 June 2015
  •  Accepted: 22 July 2015
  •  Published: 30 September 2015

Abstract

This study derived eco-climatic indices; a moisture quality index, onset and cessation dates, hydrologic growing season and Aridity Index all for the period (1950-2006), in addition to using National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer images to derive a Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index map. These derived eco-climatic parameters were integrated using Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques. The overlay was hinged on a theoretical basis which holds that the variations of the Aridity index, cessation dates, length of the hydrologic growing season and vegetation index are directly proportional to eco-climatic zone changes while those for onset and MQI are inversely proportional. The quantitatively derived eco-climatic index and related maps identified five eco-climatic zones; wet, humid, sub-humid, dry sub-humid and semi-arid as against the three classic regional climatic zones. The eco-climatic map further unveils progressive transformation or southwards shifts in the boundaries of the regional climatic zones. Thus, the accurate delineation of the current eco-climatic zones would be essential for providing adequate information needed to achieve food security and sustainability of the physical environment that is fundamental to disaster risk reduction in sub-Saharan Africa.
 
Key words: Northern Nigeria, climate change, rainfall variability, southwards shifts, eco-climatic zones, food security.