Climate change has been the subject of much debate in recent years, with arguments raging across
the globe about what the real causes behind the changes that we are seeing on our planet are.
One thing we are certain of though is that the phenomenon is having serious and unpredictable
impacts on the world and on the way that people live. This is evidenced by the fact that some
regions on the planet are already experiencing more extreme heat, while others have cooled
significantly, and extreme weather patterns that can be attributed to climate change, are
affecting people’s livelihoods and food security. Unfortunately, current climate models are not
yet robust enough to predict impacts at local and regional levels, but it is abundantly clear
that all of us are vulnerable in some way.
Researchers from the University of Pretoria have initiated an international collaborative
research project, with the objective of determining the effects of climate change over the whole
of southern Africa over the past 1 000 years, using trees to reconstruct rainfall patterns.
According to lead researcher, Prof Stephan Woodborne from UP’s Mammal Research Institute (MRI),
the study is providing valuable insight into both the natural and anthropogenic effects of