Climate change impacts on mean wind speeds in South Africa
Keywords:climate change, wind speed, air pollution, mitigation, climate models
Climate change could potentially affect a number of variables that impact the dispersal of and human exposure to air pollutants, as well as climate dependent sectors such as wind energy. This study attempted to quantify the projected changes in seasonal daily mean wind speeds for South Africa around the mid-21st century (2051-2075) under two different atmospheric heat pathways. Seasonal daily mean wind speed increases rarely reach 6% and decreases occur to a maximum of 3% and are variable between different seasons and areas within the country. In all seasons except December-January-February, wind speeds are projected to increase in the Highveld region, suggesting that air pollution dispersing conditions could increase. Wind direction at the 850hPa-level show minor changes, except over the Western and Eastern Cape provinces.
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