'Climate change is a pattern of events occurring over extended period of time'

Images and footage of the aftermath of floods and mudslides that have hit parts of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape raise questions about changing weather patterns.

Now the South African Weather Service has confirmed that tropical cyclone Kenneth will hit Northern Mozambique and Southern Tanzania on Thursday.

Bongani Bingwa speaks to Professor of Systems Ecology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Bob Scholes, about how these events may or may not be linked to climate change.

We can never link a single event to climate change, because climate change by definition, is a pattern of events occurring over an extended period of time.

Professor Bob Scholes, Systems ecology - Wits

But it is true that the climate change projections are for an increase in severe weather, both on the extreme dry side such as droughts in the Cape, and extreme rainfall events such as seen in northern parts of the country.

Professor Bob Scholes, Systems ecology - Wits

These then become 'the new normal', he says.

The extreme rapid change over the past century can be unequivocally linked to the human effects on the global atmospheric composition.

Professor Bob Scholes, Systems ecology - Wits

He says the planet and humans will survive the changes.

But whether we survive this with elegance and a civilisation caring for one another...that's the big question on the table.

Professor Bob Scholes, Systems ecology - Wits

Listen to more on this from Professor Scholes:


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