South Africa is experiencing hottest weather conditions since the mid-1800s

South Africa experiencing hottest season since 1800. Photograph : John Hogg.

South Africa experiencing hottest season since 1800. Photograph : John Hogg.

Published Nov 28, 2023


Cape Town - Temperatures have been increasing steadily in South Africa since 1960, and the country is currently experiencing the hottest weather conditions since the 1800s, according to climate change experts.

According to Stefaan Conradie from UCT, these results have been confirmed by analyses from various institutions globally and do include some measurements taken in South Africa.

“That these were the hottest months averaged over the whole world does not mean they will have been the hottest everywhere. In fact, parts of South Africa were quite cold during winter, while it was a very hot summer in the Northern Hemisphere. But on average, temperatures have been increasing steadily over South Africa since 1960, too, according to the SA Weather Service (who may be better suited to answering your question), with our hottest years on record all having occurred in the last eight years,” said Conradie.

Dr Christopher Trisos, director of the Climate Risk Lab at the African Climate and Development Initiative, said the months of June, July, August, September, and October have been the hottest months since the mid-1800s. This is based on data from meteorological stations across the world.

“The speed at which the earth is warming is accelerating at unprecedented levels, and record high greenhouse gas emissions are primarily to blame,” said Trisos.

Professor Guy Midgley, interim director of the School of Climate Studies at the University of Stellenbosch said: “No aspect of the weather is unaffected by climate change now.

“The excess heat stored in the oceans is worsening our heat wave intensity, in addition to the warming in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels. The El Nino state of the current weather is also a contributing factor.”

The experts are expecting the heatwave to last until today.