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Science and ‘social learning’ key to reduce climate disaster risks – Oxpeckers

Disrupting the Future: How communities and experts work together to reduce flood disaster risks in Limpopo. A multimedia #ClimaTracker investigation by Anina Mumm EXPLORE THE FULL MULTIMEDIA FEATURE HERE When the Western Cape experienced its worst storm in three decades in early June, disaster relief teams were on stand-by thanks to the early warnings provided by…

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Pee, poo & pollen say climate change is real

While chatting with one Nigel Barker of UP (@Nigel_GEBP) about something different entirely, he mentions that Dassie middens, used by generations of the little critters to drop their deposits into neat, sticky piles over 100s of years come rain or shine, can tell us if, in fact, it was raining or shining. The stickiness of the…

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Yesterday I learnt that it is us

Us. We who live in cities. We who are employed. We who are academics. We who are food secure. We who have air conditioning. We who drive cars. We who write about how climate change affects vulnerable communities from the comfort of the conference couch within cable distance of the plug. We who attend said…

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Free solar power for N. Cape households

Oxpeckers’ Tholakele Nene finds out how giant solar power projects are making a difference to rural lives affected by climate change in semi-desert areas of the Northern Cape Households in dusty Groenwater, a dirt-poor rural neighbourhood in the Northern Cape, no longer need candles to light up the night, or to burn wood for heating water during…

A juvenile West Coast lobster. Photo: Jarred Knapp

West Coast lobster not worried about climate change?

The West Coast rock lobster’s natural ability to adapt to varying environmental conditions may be its saving grace when it comes to climate change. This is according to research conducted by aquaculture scientist Dr Jarred Lee Knapp of Stellenbosch University. His research shows that these crustaceans have a natural ability to physiologically adapt to rising sea temperatures…

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Better get used to this heat

When the maximum temperature approaches 36 degrees around 2pm in Jozi, I’m like, screw this, I’m done; let’s pick it up after dark. And then I thank the flying spaghetti monster I’m not in Pretoria right now. I’m lucky enough to have that kind of flexibility, and many other people are lucky enough to enjoy…

A pied crow. Photo credit: Peter Ryan/The Conversation

How climate change is causing pied crow numbers to soar

Pied crows, or Corvus albus, are a natural part of the landscape of southern Africa. They are bold, common, and familiar. But over recent years, especially in South Africa, there is evidence that there are many more of these birds, write Susan Cunningham and Arjun Amar in The Conversation   The increase is worrying some conservationists who fear it…