Soil Erosion Menace and the Incidence of Climate Change

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue II, February 2018 | ISSN 2454-6186

Soil Erosion Menace and the Incidence of Climate Change

Ibeabuchi U, Egbu, A. U and Kalu, A. O.

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Abstract: – Soil Erosion still remains one of the major land degradation problems which still challenge the efforts of the government at various levels in the war against hunger and poverty in Abia State. Studies on the impact of climate change on sediment transport suggest that transport enhancement due to increased soil erosion, particularly in areas with increased runoff, soil and vegetation changes in Abia state. This study adopts Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing techniques as veritable tools to classify areas with soil loss potential in Abia state. The rainfall distribution characteristics and rain days was studied, the frequency analysis was applied using normal distribution log-Pearson type III distribution, with rainfall data recorded for 43 years (between 1972 and 2015). This indicates that the distribution is negatively skewed and with an increase in rainfall variability, implying a change in weather, increased heavy rainfall intensity and extremes and soil loss. The 0.2 and 1% Chance Exceedance rainfall event were used as input into climate factor coupled with soil, DEM and anthropogenic factors as the basic requirement for environmental modeling of soil loss using Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). Sediment yield was computed and large deposits were found to leave Abia state basin accompanied by nutrients runoff, posing threat to agricultural productivity and land degradation. Results reveal that soil loss and sediment yield is an annual event which needs an Agro-environmental measure to reverse the negative trend towards environmental degradation.

Keywords: Soil Erosion, Climate Change, Menace, Rainfall, Abia State, GIS, Remote Sensing.

I. INTRODUCTION

Climate change refers to long-term modifications to climate, whether due to natural occurrences or human activity (IPCC, 2007a). The global climate is warming, as demonstrated by increases in air and ocean temperatures, increased ice and snow melt and rising average sea levels. The risk of extreme weather events is also rising (Adger et al., 2007); all these trends are expected to continue. Climate change is, in turn, affecting multiple spheres of society. The most immediate impacts are environmental, resulting in increased desertification, drought and floods, shifts in arable land and water stress. The rate of change in climate is faster now than in any period in the last 1000 years.