Atmospheric visibility trends in the Niger Delta Region Nigeria 1981-2012


Nwokocha C.O and Okujagu C.U.

Atmospheric pollution has been serious in the Niger delta region, as the hub of oil production in Nigeria due to the rapidly expanding economic and industrial activities which has significant impacts on visibility. Visibility is a highly relevant factor indicating the level of air quality and inversely related to the optical extinction coefficient caused by gas and particle phases. A 31 years Horizontal visibility data for some coastal weather stations in the Niger delta region acquired from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) Abuja Nigeria was analysed. In this study, atmospheric visibility trends for six Niger delta cities (Akure, Warri, Owerri, Uyo, Calabar and Portharcourt) in Nigeria were evaluated for the period 1981-2012 using statistical techniques. It was observed that the yearly seasonal indices for the mean visibilities for the stations, Warri, Owerri, Akure, Uyo, Calabar and Portharcourt are 2.056817, 1.523725, 0.988518,-3.87354, -0.08079, and -0.6144 km respectively. Akure, Owerri and Warri have experienced a significant increase in visibility during the entire time series while for other three cities/stations Phc, Uyo and Calabar shows decreasing visibility trends. The general dreadful conditions of visibility in these cities were probably due to the excess aerosol loading, oil exploration and exploitation in the region which leaves chunks of farmland, water bodies and the atmosphere severely polluted and degraded. Therefore, an urgent targeted reduction of atmospheric pollution may be needed to better air quality in the Niger delta region Nigeria.

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