Heat waves in South Africa: Observed variabilty, structure and trends

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dc.contributor.advisor Nethengwe, N. S.
dc.contributor.advisor Chikoane, H.
dc.contributor.advisor Bopape, M. M.
dc.contributor.author Mbokodo, Innocent Lifa
dc.date.accessioned 2017-06-08T18:43:16Z
dc.date.available 2017-06-08T18:43:16Z
dc.date.issued 2017-05-18
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/681
dc.description MENVSC (Climatology)
dc.description Department of Geography and Geo-Information Sciences
dc.description.abstract Heat waves are warm extreme temperature events that have environmental and socio-economic impacts in many regions across the world. Negative impacts of warm extreme temperatures over South Africa necessitate the need to study the nature of heat waves. Observations and satellite datasets are analysed in the investigation of the nature and trends of heat waves over South Africa in the present (1983-2012) and future (2010-2039, 2040-2069, 2070-2099) climates. Case study and composite analysis of National Centers for Environmental Prediction datasets were done using the Grids Analysis and Display Systems to get an in-depth understanding of the structure of heat waves in South Africa. Future climate model output obtained from the Conformal Cubic Atmospheric Model was used for future heat wave trends in South Africa. The simulations were made using the Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 and 8.5. Heat waves are unusual events in the present climate (1983-2012) over much of the country, with 20 of the selected 24 stations experiencing an average of less than one heat wave per season. Heat waves are also more frequent and last longer during warm phase of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) than in cool phase of ENSO with the north-east being the most prone region. Composite analysis of 500 hPa omega indicates subsidence over the interior of South Africa in both phases of ENSO. Heat waves in South Africa are localized and associated with a middle level high pressure system that persists over the interior inducing anticyclonic flow and subsidence. The anticyclonic circulation over a region experiencing heat wave weakens with decreasing height over land areas which may be due to frictional forces at the surface and the high is placed further south-east at the surface. Advection of dry continental northerly winds also contributes to high maximum temperatures during heat waves in the interior. Maximum temperatures are expected to increase drastically from the present-day climate to the 2070 – 2099 period, with an average increment of about 8°C during DJF in much of the central interior. As a result, heat wave occurrences are expected to be higher in the future warmer climates when climate change signal is higher. Most increases are expected for heat waves lasting for a week than those lasting for over 2 weeks. CCAM outputs also indicated that heat waves in South Africa are expected to last longer and become more intense during the future warmer climates. Longer lasting and more intense heat waves are expected over the Karoo than in other parts of the country. en_US
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xv, 145 leaves : color illustrations, color maps)
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Heat wave variability en_US
dc.subject Thermal discomfort en_US
dc.subject Atmospheric structure en_US
dc.subject CCAM en_US
dc.subject RCP en_US
dc.subject.ddc 536.570968
dc.subject.lcsh Heat waves (Meteorology) -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Air masses -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.subject.lcsh Heat -- South Africa -- Limpopo
dc.title Heat waves in South Africa: Observed variabilty, structure and trends en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US

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