Zim warming rapidly: Experts

ZIMBABWE is one of the countries in the Sadc region that are warming up more rapidly than the rest of world, with temperatures expected to rise by between two to four degrees celsius by 2050, a climate change expert has said.

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

Speaking at a climate change symposium held in Harare last week, United Nations climate change researcher Pios Ncube said the rate at which Zimbabwe is warming up was ‘scary.’

“The world has warmed by an average of 0,76 degrees Celsius since, period of pre-industrial times and temperature is projected to further increase warmth up to a maximum of four degrees Celsius if no action is taken. Global action is urgent, but local action is even more urgent.

“Zimbabwe is warmer now than at the beginning of the 20th Century. Annual mean-temperature increased by about 0,5 degrees since 1900. Zimbabwe is expected to warm more rapidly in the future than global average. By 2050, temperature is to increase by about two to four degrees Celsius and rainfall reduction by 10% to 20% compared to the 1960s and 1990s baselines. Communities at household levels are already living and must continue to live with changed climates,” he said.

Most countries in southern Africa have been experiencing severe climate change effects, including successive droughts and floods.

According to government, the country is expected to receive normal to below normal rains for the 2018/2019 season, a result of the effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon.

Experts have called for government to take the issue of climate change seriously through unveiling budgets towards mitigating the phenomenon.

Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) director, Farai Maguwu, said the changing weather patterns call for farmers to diversify as well as the formation of an inter-ministerial taskforce on climate change mitigation.

“The changing weather patterns may mean that farmers need to diversify into other crops that they currently do not grow. Civil society and development agencies should scale up outreach programmes to those most prone to climate change risks. Moreover, an inter-ministerial taskforce on climate change mitigation and adaptation should be put in place,” Maguwu said.

The climate change symposium was organised by CNRG and was attended by experts from civic society and local universities.

The United Nations framework convention on climate change predicts that over the next decades, billions of people, particularly those in developing countries, will face shortages of water and food, with greater risks to health and life as a result of climate change.

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