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Climate and Weather

Climate is perhaps the single most important driver with respect to determining the amount, distribution and to some extent, the availability of water in the environment. The temporal and spatial distribution of water, the intensity of precipitation, and temperatures all drive elements of the hydrologic cycle and many other physical and chemical processes that shape the landscape.

The climate of the Limpopo River basin varies along the path of the river from the temperate climate of the western basin to the subtropical environment at the river mouth in Mozambique.

There is now little argument that our global climate is changing. The questions are now focused on how, when, and where these changes will take place and what the impacts will be on our local environment and livelihoods.

Chapter Summary

This chapter covers the following concepts and materials:

  • The principles of climate and weather, including the hydrologic cycle, climate variability, climate classification, water scarcity and drought
  • An overview of the climate of the Limpopo River basin, including an overview of the regional climate of southern Africa
  • The basic principles of climate change and an outline of the projected impacts of climate change on the climate and environment of  the Limpopo River basin
Climate is a fundamental aspect of the natural environment in a river basin.
Source: Hatfield 2009
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