+27 71 448 3496
leon@whyafrica.co.za

Climate experts call for collective efforts to address extreme weather

Share Article
This year, the frequency and intensity and variety of extreme events globally have increased significantly. Image credit: Unsplash

Climate experts call for collective efforts to address extreme weather

International climate scientists have called for more investment in the appropriate skills and technology to improve seasonal forecast and early warning systems to address extreme weather events.

A technological and skills boost is essential to intensify efforts to predict, mitigate and possibly avoid extreme climate and weather events around the globe and especially in Africa.

The experts were speaking at the 37th Annual Conference of the South African Society which took place at the University of the Western Cape from Monday, 30 October, to Friday, 3 November 2023.

The gathering, organised by the Extreme Climate Event Research Alliance (a newly formed working group in South Africa), attracted leading climate experts who shared their research findings and provided updates on the scientific implications of climate variability, climate change, and extreme weather events in the country.

Understand mechanisms of risk (Climate experts call for collective efforts to address extreme weather)

The primary objective of the meeting was to explore the integration of research outcomes into climate services, aiding in the management of climate variability and adaptation to climate change and extreme climate events.

At the meeting, delegates discussed the need for climate science to meet the needs of disaster risk management and contribute to planning and preparation at the seasonal and long-term time scales.

The need for improved strategic research is aimed at better understanding the mechanisms and risks associated with extreme events, and investment in the appropriate skills and technology.

Addressing the conference, Prof. Erich Fischer, a global expert on extreme climate events and lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report, said that a collective effort is required, adding that structures and programmes must be in place to deal with the research questions associated with extreme weather events.

Frequency of extreme weather intensified (Climate experts call for collective efforts to address extreme weather)

“This year, the frequency and intensity and variety of extreme events globally have increased significantly, and many of these, such as the recent Mexican tropical storm, the flooding in Libya, and fires in Hawaii, have been unprecedented in location and scale. We need to work together in deploying scientific capabilities to avert future environmental disasters,” he said.

Supporting Prof. Fischer’s sentiments, Dr Neville Sweijd of the Alliance for Collaboration on Climate and Earth Systems Science at the CSIR pointed out that key features of the global climate, such as average global sea-surface temperatures and average daily atmospheric temperatures, are at record levels globally by a significant margin.

“The global climate indices represent a worrying development in that we are in new territory – really a different world to what we know – and the precise implications of this are not yet apparent but will not be good for humanity. We have experienced the warmest day ever on record, and the warmest month, June,” said Sweijd.

The 2023 El Niño was a focal point in one of the panel sessions, with experts providing insights.

Prof. Willem Landman from the University of Pretoria in South Africa mentioned that climate forecast models are not entirely consistent, but there’s a consensus that preparations are needed for a drier and hotter summer season than usual, particularly in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

Dr Johan Malherbe, representing the Agricultural Research Council, noted that current rainfall hasn’t significantly affected maize crops, but persistent dry conditions could disrupt production. Despite this, he mentioned an advantage due to three years of good rainfall leading into this period.

Dr Christien Engelbrecht from the South African Weather Service noted that, historically, the country has experienced drier and warmer seasons during El Niño, but this is somewhat variable and not totally consistent.

“The 2015/16 El Niño was the most severe of these events on record, and on the whole, this El Niño, the 2023 event, will be strong to very strong, and it may well have a significant impact, given the background of a warmer state of the global climate.”

A fuller report from this panel is available here.

Climate experts call for collective efforts to address extreme weather

ADVERTISEMENT

Arica provides on the ground information and business intelligence about the sustainable utilisation and extraction of natural resources in Africa, and can assist your company through:  

  1. Membership:
  • WhyAfrica’s membership offers great business insights to you, your company, and clients.
  • Amongst many other benefits, we will publish editorial content about you or your company on the WhyAfrica online platform and on all WhyAfrica’s social media pages – the annual fee is R5,500 and you can find out more or subscribe here: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/product/membership/ 
  1. Sponsorship:
  • WhyAfrica’s Road Trip takes place annually in July and August. During our Road Trip we aim to visit more than 30 project sites. Sponsoring the Road Trip, or to be a WhyAfrica member, gives you unparalleled insight into the business environment of the countries that we travel to and the project sites we visit.
  • To be a member or sponsor allows you access to invaluable, on the ground, business intelligence and a great marketing opportunity for all companies doing business in Africa.
  • The main aim of our Road Trips is to promote Africa as an investment destination and to showcase Africa’s greatest companies, and projects to our large global audience, which includes a list of potential investors, venture capitalists and serial entrepreneurs.
  • To view the photos of this year’s Southern Africa Road Trip click on the gallery link or follow our Instagram account at why.africa https://www.whyafrica.co.za/road-trips/whyafrica-road-trips/. 
  1. Advertising:
  • We publish daily online articles on our WhyAfrica platform and post them on social media every day. Our combined online reach is more than 45,000. In-article banner ads are highly successful advertising tools as is advertising space on our website.
  • In addition to our bi-weekly newsletters, we publish two printed- and two interactive digital magazines per year. The printed magazines are distributed at major events and conferences throughout the year, and also on our WhyAfrica Road trips.
  • Digital magazines are e-mailed to all our subscribers and shared on our social media platforms. A copy of the latest edition is automatically attached to all our outgoing e-mails.
  • WhyAfrica magazines provide great marketing opportunities. There are also in-article and on-line advertising opportunities at exceptional rates. Contact me for more information on leon@whyafrica.co.za or give me a call.
  • To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletters and magazines click on the link and register: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/subscribe/  
  1. 4. Partnerships
  • Maximise your African exposure and link with our large business network through becoming one of only 10 WhyAfrica partners. We have only five prime partnership positions left for 2023, so contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za to get the best deal.

Climate experts call for collective efforts to address extreme weather

ADVERTISEMENT
Share Article

Sectors

AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management