Abstracts on Global Climate Change

Sep 2007

Namaqualand’s climate: Recent historical changes and future scenarios

MacKellar, NC Hewitson, BC Tadross, MA


A brief outline of some issues concerning global climate change research is presented before discussing local-scale changes in Namaqaland’s rainfall. Using a gridded data set derived through interpolation of station records, trends in observed rainfall for the period 1950-1999 are discussed. To assess what changes may occur during the 21st century, the downscaled results of six different General Circulation Model projections are presented. The historical trends show some clear spatial patterns, which depict regions of wetting in the central coastal belt and the north-eastern part of the domain, and extensive drying along the escarpment. Reasonably good agreement is shown by the different downscaled projections. These suggest increased late summer convective precipitation in the north-east, but extensive drying along the coast in early and mid winter consistent with the poleward retreat of rain-bearing mid-latitude cyclones. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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