The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. It undertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth.

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Global change research at the CSIR

With South Africa preparing to host the 17th Conference of Parties (CoP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2011, the CSIR will host a number of events. Follow these links to access the event list, or the expertise register for media and other enquiries

CSIR researchers active in the field of global change have made significant inputs into the national understanding of climate change-related issues in southern Africa. These are some of the projects underway:

South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas
The South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas (SARVA) is aimed at equipping decision-makers with information on the impact and risk associated with global change in the region. Managed by the CSIR, SARVA will again host several user-workshops in 2011 and 2012.

Applied Centre for Climate Change and Earth Systems Science (ACCESS)
Hosted by CSIR, the Applied Centre for Climate and Earth System Science is a DST-initiative and aims to act as a platform to guide research efforts and develop a new generation of global change scientists.

Southern Ocean Carbon-Climate Observatory (SOCCO) programme
The SOCCO programme is a CSIR-led, multi-institutional South African initiative aiming to understand the link between climate and the carbon cycle in the Southern Ocean.

Climate studies, modelling and environmental health
The CSIR is one of the few research institutions in Africa to make detailed projections of future climate variability and change over Africa.


Global change and ecosystem dynamics
CSIR research into the dynamics of carbon uptake and release by Africa’s vast savannas will help reduce uncertainties in the global science community’s understanding of the global carbon cycle.

 Earth observations
The CSIR offers a comprehensive remote sensing base through its core remote sensing entities, Ecocystems Earth Observation and the Meraka Institute.

The integration of climate change considerations into local air quality management plans: the case of Durban
In recent years there has been considerable advancement in our scientific understanding of the linkages and interactions between climate change and air quality. A warmer, evolving climate is likely to have severe consequences for air quality due to impacts on pollution sources and meteorology. In this talk, CSIR researcher Tirusha Thambiran explores the complex linkages between climate change, air quality policy, the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act and the local air quality management plans of a city like Durban.
Speaker: Tirusha Thambiran, air quality specialist, CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment
Date: Wednesday 31 August
Time: 11:00 to 13:00 (light lunch included)
Venue: Sharks Boardroom, CSIR, Durban (with video conferencing to Pretoria)
RSVP: knowledgecommons@csir.co.za

Thursday 8 September
Building resilience to climate change: South African style
In this talk, Dr Belinda Reyers explores the links between people and ecosystems. Specialising in ecosystem services, she will describe some of the innovative ways South Africans are preparing for climate change. This includes out-of-the-box thinking about the way our ecosystems and social systems work and interact.
Speakers: Dr Belinda Reyers, CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment
Date: Thursday 6 October 2011
Time: 11:00 to 12:30
Venue: CSIR Knowledge Commons, Pretoria
RSVP: knowledgecommons@csir.co.za

Friday 14 October
Potential impacts of climate change on human health
How will climate change affect my health in the coming years? That's a tough question to answer. Environmental health scientists Dr Caradee Wright (CSIR) and Dr Jane Olwoch (University of Pretoria) will discuss some of the emerging issues and debates about the potential impacts of a changing climate on human health and healthcare systems.
Speakers: Dr Caradee Wright, CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment; Dr Jane Olwoch, Department of Geography, University of Pretoria
Date:  Friday 14 October 2011
Time: 11:00 to 12:30
Venue: CSIR Knowledge Commons, Pretoria
RSVP: knowledgecommons@csir.co.za

Friday 28 October
In a warming climate, just how predictable are temperature extremes at weather and seasonal time scales?
Speaker: Dr Willem Landman, atmospheric modeller, CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment
Date:  Friday 28 October
Time: 11:00 to 12:30
Venue: CSIR Knowledge Commons, Pretoria
RSVP: knowledgecommons@csir.co.za

Projected climate futures for southern Africa, 5 August 2011
Atmospheric modeller, Dr Francois Engelbrecht, will gaze in the climate crystal ball for this first talk in the COP17@CSIR series of Science Talks. According to an extensive set of climate projections recently performed at CSIR, it is likely that southern Africa will experience rapid rises in surface temperature over the coming decades. As the greenhouse effect strengthens in time, regional patterns of rainfall and evaporation are likewise projected to display a pronounced signal of anthropogenic forcing.
RECORDING: http://streaming.csir.co.za/view.aspx?id=3150~4j~J3Mgk8us

Green on the cheap: some innovative ideas for a greener lifestyle, 12 August
According to CSIR researcher Nuveshen Naidoo, you don't need to have green to be green. Talking from experience after recently greening his apartment, he highlights practical and effective methods - with the help of some technologies, tools and modifications - to reduce your electricity use without breaking the bank.
RECORDING: http://streaming.csir.co.za/view.aspx?id=3154~4n~NPVu9hmJ

Media enquiries: Tendani Tsedu   Tel: (012) 841 3417

Useful links
Official COP17 website
The officialUNFCCC website
Environmental Affairs
COP17 blog

Latest news
Road to Durban Engineering News


Research opportunities
Freestanding postdoctoral fellowships for 2011
About this section
Overview: CSIR Natural Resources & the Environment
NRE Annual Research Report 2009
NRE Research & Development Strategy 2010
Contact details

Briefing Notes
The impact of an unhealthy environment on human health in South Africa
Groundwater: the key to South African water security
The State of Domestic Waste Management in South Africa
Acid Mine Drainage in South Africa
Municipal Waste Management Toolkit
CSIR research in coastal systems
Information Session on Integrated Coastal Management
Water dilemma - Policital leadership essential to mitigate acid mine drainage problem
The pollution reality of gold mining waste on the Witwatersrand
Working for Water Programme is working, CSIR study finds
Humans affect fire regimes more than climate in southern Africa
Emails from the SA Agulhas
Small-scale gold miners vulnerable to dangers of mercury poisoning
DDT: The devil you do, the devil you don't
Talking about drought and rain was an integral part of her childhood, says CSIR climate change specialist
"Special focus on Climate Change"

Diarrhoea now third biggest killer in South Africa

Dangers of mercury poisoning

Latest water research highlighted in Science Scope
Asking something additional of science: New book on sustainability science launched at the CSIR
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