South Africa. General Climate. UNDP Climate Change Country Profiles. A. Karmalkar 1, C. McSweeney 1, M. New 1,2 and G. Lizcano 1

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1 UNDP Climate Change Country Profiles South Africa A. Karmalkar 1, C. McSweeney 1, M. New 1,2 and G. Lizcano 1 1. School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxford. 2. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research General Climate A A H zone. The climate of South Africa is largely influenced by variations in elevations and by the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest, as well as the different rainfall regimes (summer and winter) occurring over the country. Temperatures can often exceed 32 C in the summer and can drop several degrees below freezing point at higher elevations in winter. There is also a striking contrast between temperatures on the country's east and west coasts, largely in response to the warm Agulhas ocean current that sweeps southward along the Indian Ocean coastline in the east, and the cold Benguela current that sweeps northward along the Atlantic Ocean coastline in the west. As a result, temperatures along the east coast of the country are about 5 C warmer than temperatures at same latitudes along the west coast. There is also very little difference in average temperatures from south to north, in part because the inland plateau rises slightly in the northeast. The daily temperature ranges are, however, markedly higher on the plateau where clear winter weather allows overnight freezing temperatures to contrast with warm midday temperatures. South Africa experiences a rainy season from convective type rainfall mainly in the summer months from November through March. The southwest region, however, receives mostly mid-latitude frontal rainfall in winter months (May through August). Rainfall also varies considerably from west to east, associated with the positioning of the ocean currents and the general anticyclonic circulation over the subcontinent.. The northwestern region of the country receives less than 200 mm rainfall p.a. whereas the eastern parts receive over 500 mm rainfall annually. The 250mm isohyet is generally accepted as being the geographical boundary for rain fed agriculture. El Niño Southern Oscillation events and sea-surface temperature anomalies in the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans significantly influence rainfall variability in South Africa.

2 Recent Climate Trends Temperature Mean annual temperature averaged over South Africa C between 1960 and 2006 C (Table 1, Fig. 1). Daily temperature observations show significantly increasing trends in daily temperature extremes. o T 1 days per year in South Africa has increased by 19 (an additional 5% of days) between 1960 and 2003 (Table 2). The rate of increase is seen most strongly in MAM. o T A 6 (an additional 4.3% of nights; Table 2). The rate of increase is seen most strongly in MAM. Precipitation Mean rainfall over South Africa has decreased by 1.5mm per month (3.7%) per decade since 1960 (Table 1, Fig. 3). The MAM season shows a statistically decreasing trend of 2.5mm per month (6.6%) per decade in rainfall. Identified trends in daily rainfall extremes are not statistically significant (Table 3). GCM Projections of Future Climate Temperature The mean annual temperature is projected to increase by 1.1 to 2.4 C 2060s, and 1.6 to 4.3 C by the 2090s (Table 1, Fig. 2). The range of projections by the 2090s under any one emissions scenario is around 1- C T year. Warming is expected to be greater inland than in coastal regions (Fig. 2). All projections indicate substantial increases in the frequency of days and nights that are o Annually, projections indicate that the frequency of will increase from about 11% during the period to 16-25% of days by the 2060s, and 20-39% of days by the 2090s. Days that are hot for each season are projected to increase most rapidly in DJF from 10.5% to 25-62% of days by the 2090s (Table 2, Fig 7, 8). o Nights that are considere -99 are projected to increase from around 11% to 16-31% of nights by the 2060s and 19-44% of nights by 1 H d season.

3 the 2090s. Nights that are hot for each season are projected to increase most rapidly in DJF, occurring on 27-78% of nights by the 2090s (Table 2, Fig. 9, 10). o T north-eastern part of South Africa compared to the western part of the country (Figs. 8, 10). All projections indicate decreases in the frequency of days and nights that are considered 2 in current climate (Table 2, Figs ). Precipitation Projections of mean annual rainfall from different models in the ensemble are broadly consistent in indicating a small decrease in rainfall for South Africa (Table 1, Figs. 3-6). Projected changes in precipitation, however, show wide variations across the country (Figs. 4, 6). Ensemble median values for all seasons are negative. The projections for the annual mean rainfall anomaly for 2090s vary between -17 and +7%, while the median values vary between -6 and -4%. The proportion of total rainfall that falls in heavy rainfall 3 events and maximum 5-day rainfall amounts show very small changes in most model projections (Table 3, Figs ). Additional Regional Climate Change Information Model simulations show wide disagreements in projected changes in the amplitude and frequency of future El Niño events, contributing to uncertainty in future climate variability in projections for this region. The projected increase in temperature is expected to exacerbate the possibility of drying, or even counteract any possible increases in rainfall, through increased evapotranspiration, which would detrimentally affect the agriculture and water resources of the country. It is important to note that projections discussed in the report are based on climate models with coarse spatial resolution, which hampers their ability to simulate regional-scale climate features of the region. For further information see Christensen et al. (2007) IPCC W G I The P S B, Chapter 11 (Regional Climate projections): Sections 11.2 (Africa). 2 C nights are recorded in current climate of that region or season. 3 A H f rainy days in current the climate of that region and season.

4 Methods and Documents This report provides basic analyses of observations and climate model data in the form of narrative, resource and can be consulted in investigations of climate impacts, risk assessments, or adaptation options and for use in further research. It is important to note that significant limitations and caveats are involved wherever climate model projections are applied. Please refer to the following documents for additional information. Rationale and Methodology: McSweeney, C., G. Lizcano, M. New, X. Lu, 2010: The UNDP Climate Change Country Profiles. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91, doi: /2009BAMS Technical details:

5 Data Summary Table 1 Observed Mean Observed Trend Projected changes by the 2030s Projected changes by the 2060s Projected changes by the 2090s Min Median Max Min Median Max Min Median Max Temperature C (change in C C C C C C C decade) A Annual * A1B B A DJF * A1B B A MAM * A1B B A JJA * A1B B A SON * A1B B Precipitation (mm per month) (change in mm per decade) Change in mm per month Change in mm per month Change in mm per month A Annual * A1B B A DJF A1B B A MAM * A1B B A JJA A1B B A SON A1B B Precipitation (%) (mm per month) (change in % per decade) % Change % Change % Change A Annual * A1B B A DJF A1B B A MAM * A1B B A JJA A1B B A SON A1B B

6 Table 2 Observed Mean Observed Trend Projected changes by the 2030s Projected changes by the 2060s Projected changes by the 2090s Min Median Max Min Median Max Min Median Max % Frequency Change in frequency per decade Future % frequency Future % frequency Frequency of Hot Days (TX90p) A2 **** **** **** Annual * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** DJF A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** MAM * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** JJA * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** SON A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** Frequency of Hot Nights (TN90p) A2 **** **** **** Annual * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** DJF A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** MAM * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** JJA A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** SON * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** Frequency of Cold Days (TX10p) A2 **** **** **** Annual * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** DJF A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** MAM * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** JJA * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** SON A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** Frequency of Cold Nights (TN10p) A2 **** **** **** Annual * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** DJF * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** MAM * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** JJA * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** SON A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** ****

7 Table 3 Observed Mean Observed Trend Projected changes by the 2030s Projected changes by the 2060s Projected changes by the 2090s Min Median Max Min Median Max Min Median Max % total rainfall falling in Heavy Events (R95pct) % Change in % per decade Change in % Change in % A2 **** **** **** Annual A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** DJF **** **** A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** MAM **** **** A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** JJA **** **** A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** SON **** **** A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** Maximum 1-day rainfall (RX1day) mm Change in mm per decade Change in mm Change in mm A2 **** **** **** Annual **** **** A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** DJF A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** MAM A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** JJA A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** SON A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** Maximum 5-day Rainfall (RX5day) mm Change in mm per decade Change in mm Change in mm A2 **** **** **** Annual A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** DJF A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** MAM A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** JJA * A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** A2 **** **** **** SON A1B **** **** **** B1 **** **** **** * indicates trend is statistically significant at 95% confidence **** indicates data are not available

8 Figure 1: Trends in annual and seasonal mean temperature for the recent past and projected future. All values shown are anomalies, relative to the mean climate. Black curves show the mean of observed data from 1960 to 2006, Brown curves show the median (solid line) and range (shading) of model simulations of recent climate across an ensemble of 15 models. Coloured lines from 2006 onwards show the median (solid line) and range (shading) of the ensemble projections of climate under three emissions scenarios. Coloured bars on the right-hand side of the projections summarise the range of mean climates simulated by the 15 models for each emissions scenario.

9 Figure 2: Spatial patterns of projected change in mean annual and seasonal temperature for 10-year periods in the future under the SRES A2 scenario. All values are anomalies relative to the mean climate of In each grid box, the central value gives the ensemble median and the values in the upper and lower corners give the ensemble maximum and minimum.

10

11 Figure 3: Trends in monthly precipitation for the recent past and projected future. All values shown are anomalies, relative to the mean climate. See Figure 1 for details.

12 Figure 4: Spatial patterns of projected change in monthly precipitation for 10-year periods in the future under the SRES A2 scenario. All values are anomalies relative to the mean climate of See Figure 2 for details.

13 Figure 5: Trends in monthly precipitation for the recent past and projected future. All values shown are percentage anomalies, relative to the mean climate. See Figure 1 for details.

14 Figure 6: Spatial patterns of projected change in monthly precipitation for 10-year periods in the future under the SRES A2 scenario. All values are percentage anomalies relative to the mean climate of See Figure 2 for details.

15 Figure 7: Trends in hot-day frequency for the recent past and projected future. See Figure 1 for details. South Africa

16 Figure 8: Spatial patterns of hot-day frequency for 10-year periods in the future under the SRES A2 scenario. See Figure 2 for details. South Africa

17 Figure 9: Trends in hot-night frequency for the recent past and projected future. See Figure 1 for details. South Africa

18 Figure 10: Spatial patterns of hot-night frequency for 10-year periods in the future under the SRES A2 scenario. See Figure 2 for details. South Africa

19 Figure 11: Trends in cold-day frequency for the recent past and projected future. See Figure 1 for details. South Africa

20 Figure 12: Spatial patterns of cold-day frequency for 10-year periods in the future under the SRES A2 scenario. See Figure 2 for details. South Africa

21 Figure 13: Trends in cold-night frequency for the recent past and projected future. See Figure 1 for details. South Africa

22 Figure 14: Spatial patterns of cold-night frequency for 10-year periods in the future under the SRES A2 scenario. See Figure 2 for details. South Africa

23 Figure 15: Trends in the proportion of precipitation falling in heavy events for the recent past and projected future. All values shown are anomalies, relative to the mean climate. See Figure 1 for details.

24 Figure 16: Spatial patterns of projected change in the proportion of precipitation falling in heavy events for 10-year periods in the future under the SRES A2 scenario. All values are anomalies relative to the mean climate of See Figure 2 for details.

25 Figure 17: Trends in maximum 1-day rainfall for the recent past and projected future. All values shown are anomalies, relative to the mean climate. See Figure 1 for details.

26 Figure 18: Spatial patterns of maximum 1-day rainfall for 10-year periods in the future under the SRES A2 scenario. All values are anomalies relative to the mean climate of See Figure 2 for details.

27 Figure 19: Trends in maximum 5-day rainfall for the recent past and projected future. All values shown are anomalies, relative to the mean climate. See Figure 1 for details.

28 Figure 20: Spatial patterns of projected change in maximum 5-day rainfall for 10-year periods in the future under the SRES A2 scenario. All values are anomalies relative to the mean climate of See Figure 2 for details.

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