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Keywords:

  • Global NEWS;
  • nutrient export by rivers;
  • Africa

[1] We analyze past and future trends in nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and carbon (C) export by rivers to the coastal waters of Africa as calculated by the Global Nutrient Export to WaterShed (NEWS) models for the period 1970–2050. Between 1970 and 2000 the total nutrient export by African rivers increased by 10–80%. For future years (2000–2050) we calculate an increase in the total loads of dissolved forms of N and P, but decreasing trends for dissolved organic C and particulate forms of N and P. There are large regions that deviate from these pan-African trends. We explore the regional patterns and the underlying processes, in particular for the Nile, Zaire, Niger, and Zambezi. In the future, anthropogenic sources may, in large parts of Africa, become larger contributors to riverine nutrient loads than natural sources.