Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

Donald McFarlane

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© 2014 Shelby K. Long


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the projected future changes in the global and Sub-Saharan Africa climate. These changes are expected to have varying effects depending on the region of the globe being examined. Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to be one of the most vulnerable regions in the future because of the already-variable and unpredictable climate. Population growth and lack of financial and informational resources further exacerbates the climate problems, making it even more difficult for African farmers to respond to their changing environment. In order to respond to these climate changes within an already dry and nutrient-lacking environment, farmers must be given the necessary adaptation information and aid from outside investors. However, without the proper information available to investors, regarding future expectations about precipitation, temperature, extreme weather events, soil nutrients, and available adaptation strategies, investors cannot efficiently allocate capital or other forms of aid. Therefore, I stress the importance of developing accurate climate models on a regional scale that investors can use to better allocate aid. Each region is affected in very different ways by the climate as a result of local topographical factors and global factors, such as the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Therefore, tools, such as models and simulations must be able to take these factors into account in order to accurately project future changes.

This thesis examines a wide range of existing literature in the area of climate change and food security on both a global and regional scale. I investigate the current and future climate of Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the farming culture, in order to provide an in-depth understanding of the various factors that are interacting. Although many steps have been made to develop models and provide aid to Sub-Saharan Africa farmers, the lack of food security is only expected to become worse as the environment becomes harsher on food crops. Therefore, in order to respond to the expanding population and harsher farming environment, farming adaptations must continue to be intensified.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.