The global climate is changing at an unprecedented rate and is likely to intensify the already increasing pressures on various environmental and social sectors. It has become clear that even relatively small changes in climate can have potentially serious adverse effects, especially where ecosystems or their components are already close to their critical thresholds or where a region is less able to implement adaptation measures. The NBI's Climate Change Research Group is investigating the effects of elevated CO2, enhanced UV-B radiation, changes in water availability and altered incidents of frost occurrence on the indigenous flora and vegetation of southern Africa. Despite many uncertainties associated with making predictions of vegetation change, it appears that highly significant changes in several natural systems of the sub-continent may occur which will require a greater urgency in planning for adaptation through further research.
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