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Assessing the physical vulnerability of the coastal area of Nigeria to climate change

Adewale Oluwagbenga Adeyefa, Theophilus Odeyemi Odekunle, Francis Adeyinka Adesina


This study assessed the physical vulnerability of the coastal area of Nigeria to climate change effects using indices generated from a group of factors including relief, rock types, landforms, and erosion/deposition rates. Results show the very-high vulnerability class covering the largest proportion, about 53% of the area, amounting to about 23,850 km2, largely found in the Niger Delta region. The next, high-vulnerability class covers 17%, about 7650 km2, found mostly in Lagos State and the northern fringes of the Niger Delta region. The other classes i.e., moderate, low, and very-low vulnerability extend over 10% (4500 km2), 13%, (5850 km2) and 7% (3150 km2) of the coastal area, respectively. While the moderate-vulnerability class is found only in the western part of the coastal area, the low and very-low vulnerability classes dominate the extreme eastern flank and some northern edges of the western part. The low-vulnerability class is found mainly in Ondo, Ogun, Akwa Ibom and the Cross River States. The very-low vulnerability class is found covering the Ewen community of Cross River State only. Given that 70% of Nigeria’s coastal environment falls within very-high and high vulnerability classes, the region is evidently very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.


Nigeria; coastal area; Niger Delta; climate change; physical vulnerability; geographical information system

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18686/jaoe.v11i1.9294