Category: Interest rss


08 August / / Interest
We’ve all been watching with horror as Covid-19 runs rampant worldwide. In South Africa, there has been particular concern about the rapid spread in the Western Cape, where more than half the current confirmed cases have been reported. Pundits wax lyrical with pet theories, but a favourite (at least among those outside the province) is that people from the Cape are slackers and haven’t been taking the lockdown and social distancing rules very seriously.
21 November / / Interest / Research
This is an updated quick and dirty analysis of the CapeNature fire database (spanning 1927 to 2018) to see if the major drought that is currently being experienced in the Cape Floristic Region has had any impact on the occurrence or extent of wildfires. I first ran this analysis in 2017 and have been updating it every year. Wildfires are an essential component of fynbos, but components of the fire regime such as return interval need to be within certain bounds of variability to maintain healthy ecosystems.
The current drought experienced by Cape Town and surrounds has brought the issue of climate change to the fore in public discourse (if it wasn’t already). It’s discussed extensively in the media and plays a prominent role in the City’s Water Outlook 2018 Report (Version 25 - updated 20 May 2018) as motivation for the need for long term bulk water augmentation schemes.
28 February / / Interest
This post provides an interactive visualization of the results of Le Maitre et al. 2016. Estimates of the impacts of invasive alien plants on water flows in South Africa. Water SA Vol. 42 No. 4. It aims to highlight how much water could be reclaimed by clearing alien species from our catchments. The extreme drought that is gripping Cape Town and surrounds has municipalities desperately seeking options to augment bulk water supply.
31 October / / Research / Interest
Update! We submitted this project for the UN Global Pulse Data for Climate Action competition and won the Thematic Award for Climate Mitigation at COP23 in Bonn, Germany! :) Recent advances have seen the development of near-real time monitoring tools that report on the state and changes in vegetation based on satellite observations, e.g. These tools are hugely valuable for managing ecosystems and for developing the long term records required to understand ecosystem dynamics and trajectories of change.