African Journal of Physics

African Journal of Physics ISSN 9821-5213 Vol. 3 (6), pp. 138-144, November, 2016. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

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

1,2Nwokocha C.O and 2Okujagu C.U.

1,2Department of Physics, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, P.M.B. 1033, Owerri, Nigeria.

2Department of Physics, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Corresponding Author’s Email: cecily.nwokocha@alvanikoku.edu.ngdoncecily@yahoo.com. +234 (80)37075060

Receive 25 July, 2016; Revised 12 August, 2016; Accepted 17 August, 2016; Published 17 November, 2016

Abstract

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 states  (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 has 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.

Keywords: Visibility trends, Niger Delta, air quality, aerosol loading, Nigeria.