On a typical February day in West Africa, Cape Verdeans are taking time to cool down as the island nation is buffeted by a rare unseasonal downpour. For the scientists gathered in the archipelago’s capital Praia, however, the rain is a worrying portent of the changing climate to which underdeveloped Africa is becoming increasingly vulnerable. With each new decade the continent is witnessing more droughts, heatwaves and deadly floods like those that overwhelmed Malawi and Mozambique in January, according to experts at the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology. ‘

Since 1950, nine of the 10 warmest years have been the 2000s so global warming is visible in Africa,’ says Andre Kamga Foamouhoue, of the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development in Niger.

While the continent of more than one billion people is no more exposed to extreme weather than other parts of the planet, Foamouhoue argues there are man-made factors which place Africans in more danger.