Why This Collaboration Matters
The conclusion of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is that there is no doubt that human activity is causing climate change. The report estimates that current temperatures are about 1.0°C higher than pre-industrial temperatures (with a likely range of 0.8 to 1.2). The report predicts that temperatures will likely warm by 1.5°C by the early 2030s.
Temperature increases of 1.5°C to 2°C are regarded as being dangerous. Of particular concern is that warming in the interior of the Southern Africa region is occurring at about twice the global average, which heightens the risk of extreme events such as droughts and heatwaves. In extreme cases, the collapse of the maize production and livestock sectors is likely if global warming reaches 3°C – in other words, 6°C warming in the South African region.
Although we cannot reverse the effects of climate change, it is vital that we do everything possible to mitigate climate change and protect the agricultural industry. The agricultural sector is among the most vulnerable sectors to climate change. Growers, therefore, need to make informed, climate-smart decisions to increase food production and profits and decrease the emission of greenhouse gases. The key to these decisions is to use hyper localised weather data coupled with geospatial mapping that will enable growers to make decisions with specific reference to the terrain and weather conditions present on their farm at a field level.