Modelling Hydrological Responses to Land Use and Climate Change: A Southern African Perspective

  • Schulze R
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Abstract

Nine hydrological issues relating to land use and climate change are identified from a southern Africa perspective, each illustrated by an example based on field observations or simulation modelling. The nine issues are that (i) south- ern Africa's hydrological regime is already so variable that climate change will be difficult to detect; (ii) fluctuations in the hydrological regime are amplified by fluctuations in climate; (iii) hydrological responses are highly sensitive to land use changes; (iv) local scale abrupt land use changes may be hydrologically more significant than regional scale gradual changes; (v) land use change frequently exacer- bates already variable flow regimes; (vi) detailed spatial information is vital in assessing impacts of critical land uses; (vii) major components of the hydrological system respond very differently to climate change; (viii) in devel- oping countries inter-seasonal climate change may be more important than that at decadal time scale; and (ix) there is need to identify the hydrologically sensitive areas of a region.

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Authors

  • Roland E Schulze

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