Mauritania has a dry, hot, and windy climate, and is severely exposed to the effects of desertification. The majority of Mauritania receives very little rainfall throughout the year. The country’s southern edge, which reaches the Sahel, has a wet season controlled by the movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which oscillates between the northern and southern tropics over the course of a year. The country’s mean monthly temperature stays above 25°C year-round with the hot season occurring from May to October, with peak mean monthly temperatures reaching 33°C in June and July.
- Mean annual temperature has increased by 0.9°C since 1960.
- The rate of temperature increase is increasing fastest during the hot and dry season.
- Since 1960, an increase in warm days and nights has been observed, with a decrease in the number of cold nights.
- There is no clear precipitation trend since 1960. However, an overall reduction in cumulative rainfall has been observed for West Africa from 2000-2009.
- Mauritania's dry season has lengthened.
- A growing climate divide between Eastern Sahel (Niger, Chad) and Western Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania) has been observed with less rainfall being experienced in the west.