Climate Change IPCC UN

SOUTH AFRICA’S THIRD NATIONAL COMMUNICATION UNDER THE UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

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The initial National Communication in accordance with Ar-ticle 12 of the United Nations Framework Convention on climate Change (UNFCCC) was prepared in 2004, followed by the second communication in 2011. This document constitutes South Africa’s Third National Communication (TNC). The document follows suggested UNFCCC guide-lines for developing countries in reporting on national cir-cumstances; a national Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory for the period 2011-2012; climate change over South Africa in terms of trends and projected changes, vulnerability as-sessments and national adaptation strategies; measures to mitigate climate change; and other information relevant to the Convention (including a technology needs assessment, research and systematic observations and climate change education, training, awareness and capacity building needs).

The following findings of note are extracted from the TNC*:

·         1931-2015 Temperature Observations:   South Africa has been warming significantly over the period 1931-2015. The observed rate of warming has been 2 °C/century or even higher – in the order of twice the global rate of temperature increase for some parts of the country. This already exceeds the global rate documented in the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report.

·         2016-2035 Temperature Projections:  For the near-future (2016-2035), warming is projected to range between 0.5 to 1°C at most locations (relative to the baseline period of 1971-2000) and, in some projections reaching values as high as 2°C over the western interior

·         2040-2060 temperature projections: The western to central interior regions of southern Africa are projected to warm by 2 – 3 °C in most projections and possibly reaching 3.5 °C.  Provinces like Limpopo, may experience temperature increases as large as 7 °C by the end of the century, with increases of about 4 °C plausible by the period 2040-2060.

·         2080-2099 Temperature Projections: For the period of 2080-2099, temperature increases of more than 4 °C are likely over the entire South African interior, with increases of more than 6 °C plausible over large parts of the western, central and northern parts

*Of note: (a) the down-scaled climate models detailed in the TNC which informed South Africa’s projected climate futures, also formed part of South Africa’s contribution to the development of the IPCC reports (Assessment Reports 4 and 5) and (b) the were developed by the same authors who contributed to the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report

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