Climate experts are calling for collective efforts to address extreme climate and weather events around the world

Climate experts are calling for collective efforts to address extreme climate and weather events around the world

South African climate scientists and scientists have called for increased investment in appropriate skills and technology to improve seasonal forecasts and early warning systems. Enhancing the aforementioned technology and skills is essential to intensify efforts to predict, mitigate and potentially avoid extreme climate and weather events around the world and in Southern Africa.

The experts were speaking at the 37th Annual Conference of the South African Society held in University of the Western Cape from Monday 30 October to Friday 3 November 2023. The gathering, organized by the Extreme Climate Events 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. to climate fluctuations, climate change and extreme weather phenomena in the country.

The primary objective of the meeting was to explore the integration of research findings into climate services, and to help manage climate variability and adapt to climate change and extreme weather events.

Delegates at the meeting discussed the need for climate science to meet disaster risk management needs and contribute to planning and preparation at both seasonal and long-term time scales. The need to improve strategic research aims to better understand the mechanisms and risks associated with extreme events Invest in the right skills and technology.

Addressing the conference, Professor Eric Fisher, a global expert on climate extremes and lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, spoke. Climate change assessment It requires a collective effort, the report said, adding that structures and programs must be put in place to address research questions related to extreme weather events.

“This year, the frequency, intensity, and diversity of extreme events globally have increased significantly, and many of them, such as the recent Mexican tropical storm, floods in Libya, and fires in Hawaii, were unprecedented in location and scale,” he said. “We need to work together in Disseminating scientific capabilities to avoid future environmental disasters.

In support of Professor Fisher’s sentiments, Dr Neville Swigged, of CSIR’s Climate and Earth Systems Science Collaboration, noted that key features of the global climate, such as global mean sea surface temperatures and mean daily atmospheric temperatures, were at record levels. . International standards by a large margin.

“Global climate indicators represent a worrying development because we have arrived in new territory – a world that is truly different from what we know – and the exact consequences of this are not yet clear but they will not be beneficial for humanity. We have had the warmest day on record, and the warmest month,” Sweged said. June”.

The El Niño of 2023 was a focal point of one of the discussion sessions, with experts providing insights. Professor Willem Landman from the University of Pretoria said climate prediction models are not completely consistent, but there is consensus that preparations are necessary for a drier and hotter than usual summer season, especially in the Western Cape. Dr. Johan Malerbe, representative of the Agricultural Research Council, noted that the current rainfall has not significantly affected maize crops, but persistent drought conditions could disrupt production. Despite this, he mentioned a feature dating back to three years of heavy rainfall in this period.

Dr. Christian Engelbrecht of the South African Meteorological Service noted that the country has historically experienced drier and warmer seasons during El Niño is a phenomenon, but it is somewhat variable and not entirely consistent. “The 2015/16 El Niño was the most severe of these events on record, and overall, the El Niño, the 2023 event, will be strong to very strong, and could have a significant impact, given the climate backdrop.” A warmer state of the global climate.

A fuller report of this panel is available here.

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