Introduction - CSIR

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Introduction - CSIR

INTRODUCTION 2INFOSCOPE3UNDERSTANDING A CHANGING PLANET6The atmosphere• Projected regional climate futures for southern Africa......................................................................................................8• Coupling atmospheric and ocean models....................................................................................................................11• Africa’s dilemma: facing a 2˚ world...........................................................................................................................12• Getting the next season right: El Niño or La Niña?.......................................................................................................14• Pursuing a career in meteorology means you are not afraid to be proven wrong...............................................................16• There’s something about Mary-Jane...........................................................................................................................17Compiled byCSIR Strategic CommunicationEditorial teamCollette Vosloo(Content Manager)Thabo Ditsele(Editor and Project Manager)The ocean• Climate change in the Southern Ocean: Implications for global C0 2emissions reduction plans and science............................18• Iron is key to Southern Ocean productivity, but geo-engineering is not an option...............................................................20• The Southern Annular Mode and the weakening of the Southern Ocean C0 2sink..............................................................22• Getting on “the fastest train in Africa” means your ticket must be in order......................................................................23• Understanding the impacts of ocean acidification remains a key challenge.......................................................................24Observation and monitoring• Observing our changing climate from space................................................................................................................26• Using advanced remote-sensing methods to assess land degradation..............................................................................28• Aerosol climatology over SA based on 10 years of multi-angle imaging spectroradiometer data...........................................30• Is the Kruger National Park a source or sink of carbon?................................................................................................31WritersAlida BritzBandile SikwaneBiffy van RooyenHilda van RooyenMzimasi GcukumanaPetro de WetPetro LowiesWiida BassonContributorsDr Alessandro TagliabueAlize le RouxDr Anwar VahedDr Bob ScholesElsona van HuyssteenDr Francois EngelbrechtHans IttmannDr Harrison PienaarDr Jimmy AdegokeKaren NortjeDr Konrad WesselsDr Marius ClaassenDr Nicolas FauchereauDr Pedro MonteiroDr Sivakumar VenkataramanADAPTING THE WAY WE LIVEBusiness and industry• New project to help catapult ecosystem services onto SA development agenda.................................................................34• More bang for your conservation bucks – a structured approach to real world decision making...........................................38• Green supply chains towards environmental sustainability.............................................................................................40• Helping business to respond to risk in a changing world................................................................................................42• Dealing with the effects of global climate change on roads............................................................................................44• Assessing the impact of buildings on climate change ...................................................................................................46• Grass-fed versus feedlot – does it matter to the climate?..............................................................................................48Human settlements• CLUVA: Preparing Africa for climate change.................................................................................................................50• Profiling the vulnerability of South Africa’s cities and towns to global change risks............................................................52• Building the resilience of vulnerable coastal areas against climate change impacts............................................................54• Exploring the correlation between Gauteng’s urban form and its carbon footprint..............................................................56• Understanding the science of the kalabash – empowering local communities to weather the impacts of climate change.........58• Climate change and human health: how vulnerable are we?.........................................................................................61Water and food security• Water governance and climate change.......................................................................................................................62• Overcoming complexity and sustainability issues key to SA’s water future........................................................................65• Producing food in a changing climate.........................................................................................................................6832PhotographyLesa van RooyenShutterstockTHE LAST WORD• Africa’s environmental challenges in the 21 st century: Current and emerging issues...........................................................70Design and productionCreative Vision – 082 338 3742 RECAPPING 7270


INTRODUCTIONRoad to Durban and beyondAt the end of November 2011 all eyes will be on Durban, and more specifically, the 17th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP)at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.| 2 |DUBBED BY SOME AS THE“World Cup of Climate”, thisinternational gathering ofall those concerned with thechallenges posed by climatechange seeks to carve a road forclimate negotiations beyond thefirst commitment period of theKyoto Protocol, which comes toan end in 2012.The slogan for the Durbanconference is Working together!Saving tomorrow today! Tobe sure, the impact of globalchange on our climate will notbe managed or mitigated by anysingle stakeholder. It requiresa society that is aware of theimplications of its actions for theway we live; it requires businessand industry to implementastute and sustainable workingmethodologies; and it requirespolitical will – informed bycredible and rigorous research.The CSIR undertakes directedresearch and development forsocio-economic growth. In linewith our mandate, the CSIR iscommitted to national priorities,including:• Economic growth and thecreation of sustainablelivelihoods• Improved economic and socialinfrastructure• A rural development strategylinked to land and agrarianreform and food security• A strengthened skills andhuman resource base• An improved health profile forall South Africans• Cohesive, caring andsustainable communities• African advancement andenhanced international cooperation• Sustainable resourcemanagement and use.Against this backdrop, our workin global and climate changecuts across several sectors andincludes natural resources, builtenvironment, industry, andgreen technologies and energy.The natural environment is bothan important source of economicopportunity – agriculture,forestry, fisheries, ecotourism– and an irreplaceable habitatfor humans and other species.CSIR research in this domainembraces both of these aspects,and the critical tradeoffs betweenthem.It is about the environment thatwe live in and use, rather thanexclusively about undisturbednature. Our research aims todevelop innovative researchand development platforms toprovide strategically focusedenvironmental solutions insupport of a resilient economy.The CSIR has a cadre of morethan 30 researchers workingexclusively in the field of climatechange; many of them arerespected internationally. Thisis especially significant as ourcontinent will be one of theworst impacted by climatechange; in fact, the results of achanging climate on Africa arealready being documented.In this ScienceScope, we focuson science and technologythat contribute to a betterunderstanding of our changingplanet. The CSIR’s work in thisarea comprises atmosphericmodelling, oceanic and terrestrialmeasurements and observingour climate from outer space.However, a better understandingmust translate into actions.These are described in thesecond part of the publication.Since substantial climatechange is already underway,and more is inevitable, someactions involve adapting society,businesses and agricultureto a changing climate. Otheractions are essential to keep theamount of climate change wewill face in future within theadaptable range. This is whythe negotiations at COP 17 arecrucial.I trust that you will enjoy thisedition of the ScienceScope– strengthening southernAfrica’s response to globalchange through research andtechnology.Dr Sibusiso Sibisi,CSIR President and CEOThe CSIR Board’srecommendation tothe Minister of Science andTechnology, Mrs NalediPandor, to renew thecontract of Dr Sibusiso Sibisias CEO was approved byCabinet. She said, “I amconfident that Dr Sibisi willcontinue to lead the CSIRover the next five yearswith the same level ofcommitment, passion andunderstanding of nationaland global scientificchallenges.”

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