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Why southern Africa is a climate change hotspot

When: Thursday, 28 November 2019 - Thursday, 28 November 2019
Where: Braamfontein Campus East
Senate Room, 2nd Floor, Solomon Mahlangu House
Start time:18:00

Professor Francois Engelbrecht from the Global Change Institute at Wits will present his inaugural lecture.

The recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ºC identified southern Africa as a climate change hotspot. The lecture will explain how this assessment was made through the combined analysis of proxy records of palaeoclimate, trends observed over recent decades and model projections of future climate change. Under future global warming of 1.5-4°C, pronounced poleward displacements of the westerlies and cold fronts are projected to occur in conjunction with the more frequent formation of high-pressure systems over southern Africa. This implies that general reductions in rainfall are likely to occur over the region, which are to co-occur with drastic increases in temperature. It will be shown that such changes may bring tipping points to southern Africa in terms of water security, the maize crop and the livestock industry. The lecture will conclude with a discussion of the extent to which global warming can still be mitigated, and the ambitious climate change adaptation projects southern Africa can pursue under low mitigation futures. 

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