Current and future climate of Bulambuli district, Mount Elgon region
Kibet, Ephraim Festo
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Climate variability and change has been noted to be on the increase. In mountain areas such as Bulambuli district, a temperature rise has been noted. However, there is limited information on the future state of the climate in such areas and this study seeks to provide the historical and projected climate trends in Bulambuli district. Therefore, this study: (i) determined the trend in climate patterns in Bulambuli and (ii) projected rainfall and temperature patterns in Bulambuli district. Data collection and sourcing method was mainly use of the historical data from metrological centers. Climate change projection through statistical downscaling was undertaken. Mann-Kendal test of significance of trend. Results showed that rainfall is increasing both in historical and projected. Meanwhile, maximum temperature is decreasing both in the historical and also in projected periods (2023-2039) both at RCP4.5and RCP8.5. Minimum temperatures are increasing both in the historical and also in projected (2023-2039) both at RCP4.5and RCP8.5 at Bulambuli district. The historical average annual rainfall was 3.09mm and historical sum rainfall 35003.7mm per year. The lowest rainfall was recorded in 2009 while the highest was recorded in 2019, 2020 and projected average annual rainfall showed a rising trend for both RCP8.5 and RCP4.5near future and further revealed the continued rising trend in Tmin and decreasing trend in Tmax for the RCP4.5 near future. Projections in RCP8.5 also showed Tmin rising while Tmax decreasing. It is recommended that due to the observed rising minimum temperatures and decreasing maximum temperatures its recommended that the Ministry of Water and Environment and Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries raise awareness among communities on the variability in temperatures that will have effects on their agricultural production and natural resources.