17 May 2005

Africa climate 'same as Aids'

The impact of climate change on Africa in 30 to 40 years will be as significant as that of malaria and Aids, said the chief scientific adviser to the British government on Monday.

Sir David King said: "For Africa as a whole, climate change is one more stress. In 30 to 40 years time climate change will be as great as the other stresses."

He said global warming due to carbon dioxide emissions was the biggest global challenge of the century.

South Africa, like China, had enormous coal reserves and would continue using them. The focus for South Africa therefore would be on capturing and storing carbon emissions.

South Africa was already seeing "very big changes" in rainfall patterns due to global warming.

King said climate change was not just a political issue, but also a cultural one.

Part of the problem was the use of SUV's (4x4's) in cities. Such vehicles used up to three times as much petrol as a standard car.

King said carbon dioxide levels had risen from 260 to 379 parts a million in the post-industrial era.

"This unprecedented rise in CO2 levels will lead to increased desertification and changes in weather patterns."

Source: www.news24.com


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