Impacts and trends in climate change and other drivers in south african national parks
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Impacts and trends in climate change and other drivers in South African national parks. Nicola J. van Wilgen, Victoria Goodall, Stephen Holness, Steven L. Chown & Melodie A. McGeoch.

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Impacts and trends in climate change and other drivers in south african national parks

Impacts and trends in climate change and other drivers in South African national parks

Nicola J. van Wilgen, Victoria Goodall, Stephen Holness, Steven L. Chown& Melodie A. McGeoch

Ferreira S., Foxcroft L., Govender D., Hofmeyr M., Holness S., Roux D., Barendse J., Bezuidenhout H., Bradshaw P., Daemane E., de Klerk-Lorist L., Dopolo M., Freitag-Ronaldson S., Nel J., Russell I., Spear D., van Helden P., van Niekerk L., Vermeulen W., Zimmerman D., Bengis L., Cowell C., Ernst Y., Gaylard A., Greaver C., Herbst M., Lane E., Michel A., Oosthuizen A., Sink K., Solano-Fernandez S., van Niekerk L. & Wassenaar T.


Why is it important to assess gec in pas
Why South African national parksis it important to assess GEC in PAs?

Protected Areas (PAs) are the world’s premier conservation strategy

“Moreover, protected areas are key to buffering unpredictable impacts of impending climate change.” – CBD

BUT can we be sure that PAs will be immune to climate change and related environmental stressors? Biodiversity losses as a result of a several global change drivers has been observed within PAs (Gaston 2008)

SANParks, with a core biodiversity protection mandate, needs to understand the threat posed by Global Environmental Change (GEC) drivers and the degree to which these drivers might compromise the ability to achieve this mandate


Global Environmental Change in South African national parksSANParks

Broad project objective:

To conduct a quantitative assessment

of the current and projected impacts

of GEC on Parks,

and to use this as a basis for

providing policy directives and

management recommendations

Focus on six change drivers

Alien species *

Climate change *

Disease

Change in Freshwater Systems

Habitat change

Resource use (Overharvesting) *


Rationale for cc sub project
Rationale for CC sub-project South African national parks

  • Time and space required for species to respond to change (Parmesan and Yohe 2003, Parmesan 2006, Heard et al. 2012)

  • Placing PAs in the correct placesis essential to achieve habitat protection, biodiversity representation and provide climate change adaptation corridors and refuges

  • It’s really important to know what’s happening at local scales

    • Important to consider past/current trends because future predictions are broad in scale and vary quite dramatically depending on scenario

    • Local knowledge is needed to support management

      • Important for park expansion and zonation and decisions regarding species reintroduction or culling

  • Objective: assess evidence of existing climate change (magnitude, direction and spatial variability) in national parks


Assessment of past trends
Assessment of past trends South African national parks

  • Weather data obtained from SAWS for 64 stations across SA in / adjacent to national parks

  • Data checked and cleaned, longest and best series chosen per park

  • Calculated monthly and annual means, minima and maxima in R

    • Trend analysis: Linear and LOWESS

    • Repeated trend analysis using an R module RClimDex

    • Extreme events identified per month and annually

    • Trends in rainfall seasonality (not discussed)


Basic information per park longest series
Basic information per park (longest series) South African national parks


Rainfall patterns
Rainfall patterns South African national parks


Rainfall patterns1
Rainfall patterns South African national parks


Annual trends rainfall
Annual trends: Rainfall South African national parks

Trends influenced by years with above/ below average rainfall

Length of available time series played a large role in whether significant differences were found or not

van Wilgen et al. in preparation


Significant annual trends: Rainfall South African national parks

Rates of change

Sig. decrease

Sig. increase

No data for Camdeboo & Karoo


Mokala rainfall South African national parks

van Wilgen et al. in preparation


Extreme events rainfall
Extreme Events: Rainfall South African national parks

Agulhas

Table Mountain: Cape Point

Number of extreme high rainfall months

(1.5 x average wettest month)

Kruger: Skukuza

Photo: Monique McQuillan


Extreme events rainfall1
Extreme Events: Rainfall South African national parks

AddoElephant: Alexanderbos

Garden Route: Bloukrans

Occurrence of extreme wet years

(1.2 x average annual rainfall)

Kruger: Skukuza

Photo: Monique McQuillan


Rainfall variation South African national parks

van Wilgen et al. in preparation


Annual trends temperature
Annual trends: Temperature South African national parks

van Wilgen et al. in preparation


Significant annual changes temperature
Significant annual changes: Temperature South African national parks

Rates of temperature change where + and significant

No data for Bontebok, Camdeboo & Marakele


LOWESS trends in annual temperature South African national parks

LOWESS = locally-weighted polynomial regression (reduces the influence of extreme events and allows the gradient of the trend line to vary over time (Cleveland 1979, Cleveland 1981)


Temperature trends by month tmnp
Temperature trends by month: TMNP South African national parks

Mar

Mar

Significant changes in GREEN

van Wilgen et al. in preparation


Extreme events temperature
Extreme Events: Temperature South African national parks

Photo: Ruth-Mary Fisher

Extremes calculated as top & bottom 2.5% of normalized values:

Warm: top 2.5% of minimum temperatures

Cold: Bottom 2.5% of minimum temperatures

Hot: Top 2.5% of maximum temperatures

Cool: Bottom 2.5% of maximum temperatures


Extreme events temperature1
Extreme Events: Temperature South African national parks

Photo: Ruth-Mary Fisher

Most extreme increase: 36 days over 50 years!


Future climate change
Future climate change South African national parks

  • Study conducted by:

    Stephen Holness, Peter Bradshaw, Guy Midgley, Emma Archer, Barend Erasmus, Danni Guo

  • Three future scenarios were developed based on current data (1960-1999) using the 15 best GCM models available

    • Predictions were made for the medium term (for 2050) under each of these scenarios


Driver impact per park
Driver impact per park South African national parks


Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements South African national parks

  • South African Weather Service for providing data

  • Ulrike Irlich for formatting original data

  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the SANParks Park Development Fund for funding

Thank you!

Ferreira S., Foxcroft L., Govender D., Hofmeyr M., Holness S., Roux D., Barendse J., Bezuidenhout H., Bradshaw P., Daemane E., de Klerk-Lorist L., Dopolo M., Freitag-Ronaldson S., Nel J., Russell I., Spear D., van Helden P., van Niekerk L., Vermeulen W., Zimmerman D., Bengis L., Cowell C., Ernst Y., Gaylard A., Greaver C., Herbst M., Lane E., Michel A., Oosthuizen A., Sink K., Solano-Fernandez S., van Niekerk L. & Wassenaar T.


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