Climate Change Scenarios
Is Lesotho’s Climate Changing?
Analysis of Lesotho climate data confirms that there has been changes in the climate of Lesotho. Lesotho’s temperatures are increasing; frequency of cold temperatures is decreasing while that of hot temperatures is increasing. Precipitation is becoming more erratic with increasing occurrence of droughts and heavy rainfall.
Future climate change
National climate change projections
A detailed set of recent climate change projections developed for Lesotho is available in the 2018 National Climate Change Scenarios for Third National Communication Report developed by National Climate Change Scenario Development Task Team (NCCSDTT). A summary of these projections can be found in the main document; The Third National Communication on Climate Change.
The climate change projections made use of data downloaded from CORDEX website. The data was a downscale of eight (8) GCMs from CMIP5. From it, climate change projections were developed for three (3) future periods; Near-term (2011-2040, Medium-term (2041-2070 and Long-term (2071-2100), under two emission scenarios; RCP4.5 (balanced scenario) and RCP8.5 (worst case scenario). Projections for these periods were compared against the current (reference) period (1971-2000) to generate the expected change in the climate. The results have been prepared for the 27 extreme climate indices developed by WMO to understand the behavior of climate extremes in the changing climate.
The results show that temperatures are expected to continue warming and more so over the highlands of Lesotho. Number of cold nights/days are expected to decrease while number of warm nights/days are expected to increase. For rainfall, occurrences and intensity (magnitude) of droughts and heavy rainfall are expected to increase. The change seems insignificant during the near-period and increase the further we go into the future. Click here for a detailed report of Climate Change Scenarios.