Global warming will cause warmer temperatures over most of southern Africa. The outlook for rainfall is more varied because the way in which global circulation affects the tropical rain belts that brings much of the region’s summer rainfall is less well understood. Some wetting is expected in the north and east, and drying in the south-west.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through human activity are expected to increase global average temperatures by 2—5.4°C by 2100 (SRES A2 Emissions Scenario: IPCC, 2007). Emissions scenarios are estimates of GHG emissions that could be emitted according to views of future economic activity. Warming may shape future southern African climate variation by controlling the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the Pacific Ocean.

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