The evidence for global climate change, largely as a result of human activities that produce greenhouse gas emissions, is overwhelming. There is rapidly growing consensus among global climate model projections regarding the nature and extent of the change. The main climate change consequences related to water resources are increases in temperature, shifts in precipitation patterns, an increase in the frequency of flooding and droughts and, in the coastal areas, sea-level rise. While the temperature signal produced by climate change is relatively clear, the precipitation signal is mostly still dominated by natural climate variability, as opposed to anthropogenic drivers of change. This could very well remain the case for the next decade or so, especially at the river catchment scale. With hydrological variability further amplified in response to variable rainfall; the small ‘signal’ amid the large level of ‘noise’ will make it difficult to detect hydrological and water resource impacts with any degree of confidence, thus adding to the challenge of planning appropriate watersector responses to climate change.
The cornerstone of SA’s adaptation to climate change
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Climate, research, pilot
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