'Doomsday' Droughts Becoming Likelier for South Africa, Stanford University Says
17:52 GMT 09.11.2021 (Updated: 12:53 GMT 10.11.2022)
© AP Photo / Tsvangirayi MukwazhiIn this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, a man stands on a sun baked pool that used to be a perennial water supply in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
© AP Photo / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi
In 2018, residents of Cape Town in South Africa faced the most severe drought in decades. Authorities had to impose significant water restrictions to limit water use and postpone the so-called "Day Zero" crisis when there is no access to drinking water at all.
Scientists at Stanford University have warned that severe droughts in South Africa will become five to six times likelier in the coming years because of global warming.
Their survey was published in the Climatic Change peer-reviewed journal.
Should countries fail to take any measures to restrain global warming, there is a 50 percent probability that by 2050 temperatures in western, central and south Africa will rise threefold. At the same time, the risk of decreased precipitation will be three to four times higher than that of rainfalls, the survey says.
But if the target of keeping the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century is met, risks of extreme weather for South Africa will be postponed for three decades, giving the country an opportunity to get prepared for droughts. Otherwise, the country's authorities will have to take urgent measures to avoid water crises that will become more and more frequent.