SA warned to brace for more heat, very little rain

A study warns climate change is no longer a 'subtle phenomenon' but rather a real event caused by humans.

A scientific study has warned that climate change is behind the highest recorded temperatures. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - As South Africa continues to battle its worst drought in decades, a new study warns the record-breaking string of hot years since the year 2000 is almost certainly a sign of man-made global warming.

The study, which was conducted by a United States-led team of experts in the Scientific Reports Journal was published today.

It warns that the climate change is no longer a subtle phenomenon but is rather a real event caused by humans.

Last year, was the hottest since records began in the 19th century, in a trend that almost all scientists blame on greenhouse gases from burning of fossil fuels, stoking heat waves, droughts, downpours and rising sea levels.

In December, almost 190 nations agreed, at the COP 21 summit in Paris, to shift from fossil fuels towards cleaner energies such as wind and solar power to limit warming.

The University of Pretoria's Professor Willem Landman says South Africans should brace themselves for more heat.

"The forecast for the next couple of weeks ahead, and maybe the next few months, I think we can expect to see periods of little rain and intense heat."

Landman says there may be few rain episodes in between.

"I can again see periods of irrigation, but we can expect to find again periods of intense heat and no rain."