Climate change tripled chance of “Day Zero” in Cape Town

Scientists claim that Climate Change could make severe drought in Cape Town occur more frequently.

Key points

From 2015 to 2017 Western Cape province in the southwest of South Africa has experienced three consecutive years of below average rainfall.

Cape Town faced an unprecedented water shortage and it was believed that city could completely run out of water on what was termed “day zero”

The question of how Climate change may have played a part in this event has been investigated by an international team of scientists.

They concluded that because of climate change the likelihood of such an extreme weather event occurring has increased and could increase further in the future.

Winter rains have brought a reprieve to the citizens of Cape Town and fears that its water supply could run out have temporarily abated.

Since the Industrial Age the world has warmed by 1C. The 3.7 million residents of Cape Town are therefore now expected to experience a drough of this severity approximately once a century.

It is possible that unless significant mearsures are taken the world could warm by at least another 1C in which case a life-threatening drough could occur every 33 years.




The role of Climate Change in the 2015-2017 Drought in the Western Cape of South Africa  | World Weather Attribution

Cape Town’s drought: don’t blame climate change | Nature

Cape Town drought: City will not run out of water this year or next | Telegraph

Day Zero: how Cape Town stopped the taps running dry – video | The Guardian

What It’s Like to Live Through Cape Town’s Massive Water Crisis | Time