29 March 2017. The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has developed and released a new CLIMATE CHANGE REFERENCE ATLAS for South Africa. This forms part of our World Meteorological Month celebrations as well as the organisation’s vision to create a WeatherSMART nation.

The Climate Change Reference Atlas provides an accessible climate basis for national and local scale climate change impacts, adaptation and response planning and addresses general assumptions about climate change in a localised, scientific manner.

With climate change becoming a greater reality, National Government, provinces, municipalities and even Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are increasingly involved instrategic initiatives to adapt and respond to the risks posed by global warming. General assumptions about global warming are frequently made – for example, it is generally assumed that global warming will lead to an increase in heat waves, floods and dry periods, regardless of the area of interest. These assumptions originate from a generalisation of scientific findings, which are published in sophisticated scientific papers and technical reports, and which are not always addressed to the general public. In reality, projected climate responses to global warming differ from location to location, and changes in the level of confidence in these projections between different geographical locations and climate variables occur.

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