n South African Medical Journal - Climate change, public health and COP21 - a South African perspective : guest editorial

Volume 105, Issue 12
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Observed climate trends and projections for South Africa (SA) suggest important directional changes, with annual average temperatures likely to increase by approximately 2°C more than the predicted average global increase of 2°C by 2100. Extreme temperature events, such as heat waves and continuous stretches of very hot days, will probably become more common. The ability to predict temperature has improved in recent years, providing sound opportunities for assessing emperaturerelated health impacts in SA. There is less certainty regarding future rainfall, but spatial and temporal changes are expected, with some western areas of SA having less rain and more wind, while eastern areas will have more rain. These climatic changes place SA among one of the most vulnerable countries in the world, especially given the current high incidence of several life-threatening diseases, combined with poverty and inequality of access to health.

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