Climate experts have said that the recent flooding in the Western Cape was caused by a weather system called a “cut-off low”, which is common in the region during autumn and spring. They also mentioned that the heavy rainfall and storms experienced in the province are normal and not necessarily a result of climate change. However, these events provide data that could indicate the role of climate change in extreme weather conditions. Long-term data is necessary to determine the link between the flooding and climate change. Climate change is expected to lead to more extreme weather events, storms, and atmospheric instability, particularly along the coast. Experts also noted that extreme weather conditions worldwide, such as wildfires in Canada and floods in Pakistan, are likely influenced by climate change. The recent floods in the Western Cape caused significant damage to the agricultural sector, estimated at R1.4 billion. The effects of extreme weather conditions threaten the sector, including crop failures, soil erosion, increased pests and diseases, prolonged droughts, water scarcity, livestock losses, and negative economic impacts like job losses and food availability and security concerns. It is important to consider historical context and long-term data when evaluating the scale and impacts of these events.
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