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Open AccessArticle

Temperature Changes in the Maloti-Drakensberg Region: An Analysis of Trends for the 1960–2016 Period

1
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, QwaQwa Campus, University of the Free State, Private Bag X13, Phuthaditjhaba 9866, Free State, South Africa
2
Afromontane Research Unit (ARU), QwaQwa Campus, University of the Free State, Private Bag X13, Phuthaditjhaba 9866, Free State, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(8), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10080471
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Abstract

Nature has been adversely affected by increasing industrialization, especially during the latter part of the last century, as a result of accelerating technological development, unplanned urbanization, incorrect agricultural policies and deforestation, which have contributed to the elevated concentration of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the environment. GHG accumulation has an adverse impact on meteorological and hydro-meteorological parameters, particularly temperature. Temperature plays a prominent and well-known role in evaporation, transpiration and changes in water demand, and thus significantly affects both water availability and food security. Therefore, a systematic understanding of temperature is important for fighting food insecurity and household poverty. Variations in temperature are often assessed and characterized through trend analysis. Hence, the objective of this paper is to determine long-term trends in mean monthly maximum and minimum air temperatures for the Maloti-Drakensberg region. The Mann–Kendall test, a non-parametric test, was applied on mean air temperature for the 1960–2016 period. A significant rising trend (p < 0.001) was detected with a yearly change in the long term annual mean maximum and mean minimum temperature by 0.03 °C/annum and 0.01 °C/annum, respectively. This knowledge has important implications for both the state of the environment and livelihoods in the region, since its use can be useful in planning and policymaking in water resource management, biodiversity conservation, agriculture, tourism and other sectors of the economy within the region. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; Mann–Kendall trend test; Maloti-Drakensberg region; temperature climate change; Mann–Kendall trend test; Maloti-Drakensberg region; temperature
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Mohamed, A.A.; Mukwada, G. Temperature Changes in the Maloti-Drakensberg Region: An Analysis of Trends for the 1960–2016 Period. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 471.

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