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Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 672; doi:10.3390/su8080672

Perceptions of Climate Change and the Potential for Adaptation in a Rural Community in Limpopo Province, South Africa

Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Limpopo, Private Bag x 1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
Academic Editor: Rachel J. C. Chen
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of Climate Changes: From Sustainability Perspectives)
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Perceptions of climate change by rural communities are centered on observations of variations in temperature and rainfall patterns supported by observations and projections on climate alterations in the form of increased temperatures and scarce rainfall by scientists worldwide. The present study documented perceptions of climate variation and the community’s ability to adapt to climate change hazards threatening the production of subsistence crops. Data were collected through interactions with 100 participants. In the study, climate change is explained as variations in temperature and rainfall patterns which resulted in excessive heat, erratic rainfall patterns and drought negatively impacting on subsistence crop production. Community members have the potential to limit the impacts of climate hazards on subsistence crop production. The negative impacts of climate hazards are limited by community members’ indigenous knowledge of rainfall prediction, the seasons, crop diversification and mixed cropping. Mulching and the application of kraal manure improve the soil structure and fertility to reduce crop failure. These adaptation measures are resilient to the negative impact of climate hazards and may be helpful in the development of adaptation policies to assist rural communities vulnerable to climate change hazards. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; climate hazards; rural community; adaptation; subsistence crops climate change; climate hazards; rural community; adaptation; subsistence crops

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rankoana, S.A. Perceptions of Climate Change and the Potential for Adaptation in a Rural Community in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Sustainability 2016, 8, 672.

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