Geospatial-based climate adaptation guide

April 12th, 2019, Published in Articles: PositionIT, Featured: PositionIT

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has released the Green Book in March 2019, an online climate risk profiling and adaptation tool based on peer-reviewed climate models. It offers policy makers a guide to adapt and implement climate change actions.

The tool takes a multi-sector approach and has a strong geospatial planning component since risks are location specific and adaptation strategies therefore also need to be. Maps are further used to communicate many of the scenarios and strategies and allow for easy comparison with illustrative examples.

A screenshot of the Green Book's municipal risk profiles, in this case for the Ngquaza Hill municipality.

A screenshot of the Green Book’s municipal risk profiles, in this case for the Ngquaza Hill municipality.

Peer reviewed by 50 interdisciplinary researchers (with citations), the Green Book is an online tool aimed at municipalities, specifically urban and city planners and engineers, who are well placed to apply its principles. The tool has three components: national story maps of findings, municipal risks profiles at local municipal level, and a municipal adaptation tool with a range of actions to limit exposure and adapt to climate change. It shows what changes to adapt to as well as how to adapt.

The tool forecasts to 2050. Current research indicates that temperatures in South Africa are expected to rise 1,5 to two times the global average by then, with the energy, water and agriculture sectors expected to be most affected. Among other findings the guide shows the need for settlement planning to be addressed creatively, strategically and with adaptation measures in mind so as to make them resilient.

The Green Book offers the highest resolution (1 x 1 km) climate change data in the country. Many scenarios show why policy action is needed and offer alternatives.

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