Country's recent flash floods, snow and drought not strange, says expert

Over the past month, you would have seen the occurrence of strange weather patterns across the country.

From the drought in the Western Cape; snowfall in parts of the Eastern Cape and Free State; flash foods in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal, and a general fluctuation in temperatures.

Earlier this year, researchers observed that temperatures in South Africa are rising much faster than the global rate.

Professor of Systems Ecology at the Global Change Institute of Wits University Bob Scholes explains what is behind the changing weather patterns in the country.

It is completely consistent with the fact that the climate is changing. None of the stuff you have described has never happened in the past, we have droughts in the Western Cape and the rest of the country in the past, we have had snow in fact in December.

Bob Scholes, Distinguished Professor of Systems Ecology at the Global Change Institute of Wits

We do know for sure that the climate is changing, and we would expect with the changing climate to see unusual patterns occurring.

Bob Scholes, Distinguished Professor of Systems Ecology at the Global Change Institute of Wits

He says the phenomenon of snow is normal during spring.

What happens is when one of those cold fronts which comes up from Antarctica late in the season collides with a summertime moisture content and the atmosphere that comes down to the tropics and they smash into each other over South Africa and the result is snow.

Bob Scholes, Distinguished Professor of Systems Ecology at the Global Change Institute of Wits

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview...


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