Climate Change and its impacts: meeting the challenge in Southern Africa Mary Scholes University of the Witwatersrand ([email protected]). Key Development Challenges (2008-2013). Sustainable food production with the lowest carbon/energy footprint.
Climate Change and its impacts: meeting the challenge in Southern AfricaMary Scholes University of the Witwatersrand ([email protected])
Sustainable food production with the lowest carbon/energy footprint.
Policy driven population occupation of urban and rural spaces (intact and transformed ecosystems)
Increased frequency of outbreaks of pests and pathogens impacting global trade.
Provision of good quality water at a regional scale.
Deteriorating atmospheric air quality.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF EDUCATION ?
For 1961-2003: 1.6 mm/yr:
(Source: Domingues et al., Nature 2008)
For 2003-2008: 2.5 mm/yr:
(Source: Cazenave et al., GPC 2008)
Source: S. Rahmstorf
Decline in the Efficiency of the Ocean Sink Southern Africa
Credit: N.Metzl, August 2000, oceanographic cruise OISO-5
Primary cause is a 30% decrease
in efficiency of Southern Ocean sink. This is probably due to stronger winds around Antarctica, which enhances ventilation of carbon-rich deep waters.
Stronger winds are due to climate
change and the ozone hole.
Relative sink strength, in fraction of emissions
Le Quéréet al. 2007, Science: Global Carbon Project
Confirmed by early
Potential biome shifts with climate change (~2050) Southern Africa
Empirical warming experiments Southern Africa
(daily mean ~3oC, max ~6oC)
Conophytum sp Southern Africa
(4 months, summer)
Key Messages from the Copenhagen Congress Southern Africa
1. Climatic trends - urgency
2. Social disruption - defining dangerous climate change
3. Long-term strategy - targets and trajectories
4. Equity dimensions - climate change is unfair
5. Inaction is inexcusable - tools and approaches
6. Meeting the challenge - societal transformation (JSE example)