Draft Climate Change Plan
Key Climate Hazards
The figure below shows projected changes in annual average temperatures, highlighting increasing temperatures throughout the district for the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. By 2050, the district is projected to be affected by higher annual average temperatures, which will adversely affect water and food security. Evaporation rates will also likely increase and agricultural outputs may reduce.
Increasing rainfall variability
The figure below shows projected shifts in annual average rainfall throughout the district between 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Annual average rainfall amounts vary across the district. There is uncertainty regarding projected future rainfall.
Increasing storms and flooding events
The figure below shows projected changes in the annual average number of extreme rainfall days throughout the district over the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Increases in the number of rainfall days are likely to result in an increase in intense storms, and flooding events across the district.
The current delineation of biomes is depicted in the figure below, with the predicted shift in biomes shown in the following figure based on a high-risk scenario. The biomes have varying sensitivities to the projected impacts of climate change which are further exacerbated by issues such as the fragmentation of natural areas and unsustainable water usage rates.
Climate Change Vulnerability
A climate change vulnerability assessment is a way of identifying and prioritising impacts from climate change. The IPCC defines vulnerability as:
"Vulnerability to climate change is the degree to which geophysical, biological and socio-economic systems are susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse impacts of climate change"
Summary of Climate Change Response Plan
A vulnerability assessment lets you identify these adverse impacts of climate change that are most important to your area. The climate change vulnerability assessment process that is used in this toolkit identified the following indicators in the table below.
Adaptive Capacity Comment
|Biodiversity and Environment||Increased impacts on environment due to land-use change||Yes||The entire District, due to farming practices, urbanisation, population growth etc due to growth in SHPLG Gas and the potential for Uranium mining.||High||A significant amount of natural habitat has been lost in the District due to agriculture, urbanisation, and population growth.||Low||The District has an Environmental Management Framework that should be used to prevent future developments in sensitive areas. There is however lack of implementation.|
|Human Health||Health impacts from increased storm events||Yes||The entire District is susceptible to flooding events, particularly areas in the Laingsburg and Beaufort West LMs as well as south of Prince Albert and southeast of Murraysburg.||High||Many poorer communities have located in areas of high flood risk. The District's CC framework also notes that water and stormwater infrastructure is regularly damaged by flooding events.||Low||The District's Climate Change Response Framework identifies a number of possible responses to flood related events, that require a number of different stakeholders and funds to implement. |
There is lack of staff capacity and finance to respond.
Central Karoo Environmental Health Unit, Draft Climate Change Plan to be approved by March 2018.
|Human Health||Increased heat stress||Yes||The hot and dry climate (heat waves are common in summer) of the entire District may worsen due to projected higher temperatures.||High||16.98% of the District's population is young <5yrs and elderly >64yrs, which would indicate a medium level of sensitivity, however the impacts of heat stress on the district's population are emphasised as a key issue in the District's climate change framework and thus a high sensitivity rating has been given.||Low||The District's Climate Change Response Framework highlights several responses to heat stress, that require a variety of different stakeholders and funds to implement. |
Housing insulation from heat impact.
Increased awareness through Municipal Health Section.
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased impacts on strategic infrastructure||Yes||The entire District, due to both severe weather events and incremental changes or shifts.||High||Extreme weather events (particularly floods) can severely impact infrastructure in the District, such as the Meiringspoort Pass which connects the Karoo to George. Furthermore, the CC Framework for the District highlights the impact of storm events on aging infrastructure such as water pipes and stormwater drainage, which is already taking place.||Low||The District's Climate Change Response Framework recommends that climate change considerations are taken into account in new or revised infrastructure plans.|
|Water||Less water available for irrigation and drinking||Yes||The entire District is affected by less rainfall and extended periods of drought, uncontrolled invasive alien species.||High||Severe drought has been experienced since 2010. Already strained groundwater sources may become completely exhausted during periods of extended drought. Groundwater sources need to be treated sparingly as an absolute last resort resource in order to prevent them becoming depleted.||Low||Capacity to respond to drought is low, with groundwater sources under pressure. Already used for two boreholes in Beaufort West.|
Water catchment cross boundary funding.
The CSIR Greenbook has also developed and refined a vulnerability assessment framework by collating relevant data into composite vulnerability indicators. Four local municipality level vulnerability indices were computed and are shown spatially below.
Social inequalities are the factors that affect the susceptibility and coping mechanisms of communities and households. Indicators for social vulnerability attempt to consider the sensitivity, response and recovery from the impacts of natural hazards. The CSIR Green Book has developed a socio-economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the Socio-Economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Environmental vulnerability describes the vulnerability and risk to the natural environment and the impacts on the ecological infrastructure of which surrounding settlements are dependent. The environmental risk of an area includes ecosystems, habitats, physical and biological processes (reproduction, diversity, energy ﬂows, etc). The CSIR Green Book has developed an Environmental Vulnerability Index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the environmental vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Physical vulnerability describes the physical fabric and connectedness of settlements (buildings and infrastructure) and focuses mainly on the conditions that exist before a hazard occurs and the expected level of resulting loss. The CSIR Green Book has developed a physical vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the physical vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Economic vulnerability describes the potential risks posed by hazards on economic assets and processes. Potential hazards can include job losses, increased poverty and interruptions in business activities. The CSIR Green Book has developed an economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
- CSIR. 2019. ‘Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change’. Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change. 2019. www.greenbook.co.za.
- Le Roux, A, E van Huyssteen, K Arnold, and C Ludick. 2019. ‘The Vulnerabilities of South Africa’s Settlements’. Green Book. 2019. https://pta-gis-2-web1.csir.co.za/portal/apps/GBCascade/index.html?appid=280ff54e54c145a5a765f736ac5e68f8.
SANParks. 2011a. ‘CCAB - Current Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/484
SANParks. 2011b. ‘CCAB - High Risk Scenarios - Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/486.