Mark George New

Mark George New
University of Cape Town | UCT · African Climate & Development Initiative

PhD

About

203
Publications
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32,281
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Publications

Publications (203)
Article
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The Paris Agreement articulates a global goal on adaptation, which aims to ensure an ‘adequate adaptation response’ to the ‘global temperature goal’, and requires countries to report progress through periodic global stocktakes. However, there remain conceptual and methodological challenges in defining an adaptation goal and mixed evidence on what e...
Article
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Quantifying how well Nature-based Solutions can offset anthropogenic climate change impacts is important for adaptation planning, but has rarely been done. Here we show that a widely-applied Nature-based Solution in South Africa – invasive alien tree clearing – reduces the impact of anthropogenic climate change on drought streamflow. Using a multi-...
Article
Ecological restoration efforts at scale have been shown to play an important role in reducing human impact on the environment, improving climate change adaptation and halting extinctions globally. Upscaling restoration efforts needs funding, and therefore evidence of the benefits of restoration is needed. This study aims to contribute towards addre...
Preprint
Ecological restoration efforts at scale have been shown to play an important role in reducing human impact on the environment, improving climate change adaptation and halting extinctions globally. Upscaling restoration efforts needs funding, and therefore evidence of the benefits of restoration is needed. The aims of this study are firstly to impro...
Article
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The use of climate services (CS) for the provisioning of climate information for informed decision-making on adaptation action has gained momentum. However, a comprehensive review of the literature to evaluate the lessons and experiences of CS implementation in the African agriculture sector is still lacking. Here, we present a systematic review (m...
Article
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Most socio-economic activities in Africa depend on the continent’s river basins, but effectively managing drought risks over the basins in response to climate change remains a big challenge. While studies have shown that the stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) intervention could mitigate temperature-related climate change impacts over Africa, the...
Article
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New major road infrastructure projects are planned or underway across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and are expected to have complex, and often deleterious, impacts on natural ecosystems across the region. For this reason, it is necessary to review evidence of how and through which mechanisms, roads might affect these landscapes. We reviewed 137 peer re...
Article
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Assessing global progress on human adaptation to climate change is an urgent priority. Although the literature on adaptation to climate change is rapidly expanding, little is known about the actual extent of implementation. We systematically screened >48,000 articles using machine learning methods and a global network of 126 researchers. Our synthe...
Preprint
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Attributing the extent to which Nature-based Solutions (NbS) can offset emerging risk from anthropogenic climate change is a test of effectiveness for climate change adaptation, but has rarely, if ever, been done. Here we show that a widely applied NbS in South Africa – invasive alien tree clearing – can reduce the impact on hydrological drought se...
Article
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This paper identifies fundamental issues which prevent the effective uptake of climate information services in Nigeria. We propose solutions which involve the extension of short-range (1 to 5 days) forecasts beyond that of medium-range (7 to 15 days) timescales through the operational use of current forecast data as well as improve collaboration an...
Article
The impact of alien plant invasions on ecosystems translates into major economic losses for nations across the globe. Freely available satellite imagery can be used to provide relevant data for effective management of alien plant invasions, especially for developing nations with limited budgets. However, detecting alien herbaceous and shrubby veget...
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Disaster planning for slow-onset city-wide shocks will be become increasingly necessary, particularly as cities face increasingly severe climate hazards. This paper provides unique insight into the disaster planning and management that was undertaken by the City of Cape Town government in response to its most severe hydrological drought on record....
Article
Over the last 50 years, studies have shown a decline in the use of mountain lands, a phenomenon termed land abandonment. We investigate the causal mechanisms of land use change in a mountain catchment important for regional water supplies in the southwestern Cape of South Africa. Uniquely, we include nature-based recreational land use types typical...
Article
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Investments to promote sustainable land-use within critical river catchment areas are often undertaken to provide benefits to society. Investments generally aim to protect or restore ecological infrastructure—the underlying framework of ecosystems, functions and processes that supply ecosystem services—for multiple benefits to society. However, the...
Article
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Real-world experience underscores the complexity of interactions among multiple drivers of climate change risk and of how multiple risks compound or cascade. However, a holistic framework for assessing such complex climate change risks has not yet been achieved. Clarity is needed regarding the interactions that generate risk, including the role of...
Preprint
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We present the first systematic, global stocktake of the academic literature on human adaptation. We screen 48,316 documents and identify 1,682 articles that present empirical research documenting human efforts to reduce risk from climate change and associated hazards. Coding and synthesizing this literature highlights that the overall extent of ad...
Article
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Purpose The nature of the collaborations that exists among the organizations in the climate change and agriculture sectors can influence the tailoring of climate forecasts into information useable for adapting agricultural practices to the risks posed by climate change. Also, the extent to which farmers are integrated into this organizational colla...
Article
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Although climate information can aid farmers’ capacity to adapt to climate change, its accessibility and adoption by subsistence farmers hinge on the collaboration between farmers and climate information providers. This paper examines collaborations among actors in the process of climate information production and dissemination in the Namibian agri...
Chapter
Many insured assets can be damaged by weather and weather-related events. Tropical cyclones and droughts are two weather phenomena that persistently cause damage. In developing countries, index-based insurance is increasingly being used to enable rapid payouts to support disaster recovery. These products can be taken up at the national level, in Af...
Article
Operationalising advances in remote sensing for invasive alien plant management remains a major challenge, despite its proven value globally. There is also a lack of detailed remote sensing studies in water towers, for example the southwestern Cape of South Africa, where invasive alien trees threaten water security. There is a need for cost-effecti...
Article
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Anthropogenic forcing of the climate is estimated to have increased the likelihood of the 2015–2017 Western Cape drought, also called 'Day Zero' drought, by a factor of three, with a projected additional threefold increase of risk in a world with 2 °C warming. Here, we assess the potential for geoengineering using stratospheric aerosols injection (...
Article
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Mean surface temperature is projected to rise by about 4.4 ◦C by the end of the century compared to the period between 1976 and 2005 when following the most extreme scenario of the greenhouse gas emissions pathway (Krishnan et al., 2020). With this rise in mean temperature, there is a lot of uncertainty on how weather and climate extremes would un...
Article
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Urgent sustainability challenges require effective leadership for inter- and trans-disciplinary (ITD) institutions. Based on the diverse experiences of 20 ITD institutional leaders and specific case studies, this article distills key lessons learned from multiple pathways to building successful programs. The lessons reflect both the successes and f...
Preprint
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Context : It is now widely accepted that the climate is changing, and that societal responses will need to be rapid and comprehensive to prevent the most severe impacts. A key milestone in global climate governance is to assess progress on adaptation. To-date, however, there has been negligible robust, systematic synthesis of progress on adaptation...
Preprint
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Context : It is now widely accepted that the climate is changing, and that societal response will need to be rapid and comprehensive to prevent the most severe impacts. A key milestone in global climate governance is to assess progress on adaptation. To-date, however, there has been negligible robust, systematic synthesis of progress on adaptation...
Article
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The multi‐year (2015‐2017) drought in the South West of the Western Cape (SWC) caused a severe water shortage in the summer of 2017‐2018, with damaging impacts on the local and regional economy, and Cape Town being in the news one of the first major cities to potentially run out of water. Here, we assess the links between the rainfall deficits duri...
Article
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Adaptation to climate change is challenging in terms of managing knowledge flow among diverse actors. This paper examines the roles of key actors in Namibia in the production and dissemination of climate adaptation knowledge. The intention was to identify opportunities for enhancing collaboration among actors to facilitate knowledge flow and uptake...
Article
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The participating member nations in Paris at the 2015 convention of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) resolved to maintain the rise in global average temperature to a level much less than 2.0 o C compared to pre-industrial levels. It was also committed that the parties would continue with all-out endeavor to limit w...
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We have examined the annual and seasonal impacts of 1.5°C and 2°C global temperature rise (GTR) on temperature and rainfall change over all the states of India under two Representative concentration pathways, RCP 8.5 and RCP 4.5, using all Coupled Model Inter Comparison Project CMIP5 Models. 35% of the country is projected to witness a temperature...
Article
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This study provides the first assessment of CMIP5 model performances in simulating southern Africa (SA) rainfall variability in austral summer (Nov–Feb), and its teleconnections with large-scale climate variability at different timescales. Observed SA rainfall varies at three major timescales: interannual (2–8 years), quasi-decadal (8–13 years; QDV...
Article
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This study aims at assessing the vulnerability of six key crops (maize, beans, cassava, millet, groundnuts, and sweet potatoes) to variations in growing season precipitation at both the national and regional scale (southwest) in Uganda. To achieve this objective, a vulnerability model that is a function of sensitivity, exposure and adaptive capacit...
Article
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Leaders of sustainability research organizations need to provide an environment where interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science flourish. Developing the necessary leadership skills and attributes requires new, targeted training programmes.
Article
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Studies of climate change at specific intervals of future warming have primarily been addressed through top-down approaches using climate projections and modelled impacts. In contrast, bottom-up approaches focus on the recent past and present vulnerability. Here, we examine climate signals at different increments of warming and consider the need to...
Article
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Arctic climate change has the potential to affect access to semi-permanent trails on land, water and sea ice, which are the main forms of transport for communities in many circumpolar regions. Focusing on Inuit Nunangat (the Inuit homeland in northern Canada), trail access models were developed drawing upon a participatory process that connects Ind...
Article
Habitat loss and more recently, climate change are primary challenges to the effectiveness of protected area networks (PANs) in species conservation within many archipelagic biodiversity hotspots across the globe. An environmental niche model (ENM) of 11 high-conservation-value tree species was used to assess the effectiveness of the PAN within the...
Technical Report
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Different framings of effectiveness will influence the entire adaptation process, from identifying the vulnerabilities that adaptation aims to address, to determining who benefits and who is left behind, which adaptation actions are chosen and funded, and how they are implemented. Justice, governance, community-based adaptation, and sustainability...
Article
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In the period 2015-2017, the Western Cape region has suffered from three consecutive years of below average rainfall - leading to a prolonged drought and acute water shortages, most prominently in the city of Cape Town. After testing that the precipitation deficit is the primary driver behind the reduced surface water availability, we undertake a m...
Article
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Introduction: The intersection of health and climate change is often absent or under-represented in sub-national government strategies. This analysis of the literature, using a new methodological framework, highlights priority focus areas for a sub-national government response to health and climate change, using the Western Cape (WC) province of S...
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n Kenya, pastoralists have utilized natural grasslands using practices that often resultin overgrazing, low productivity and low income. Such practices have caused environmentalproblems, which could be exacerbated by climate change. Although knowledge on practicesthat increase pastoralists’ capacity to adapt to climate and environmental challenges...
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Purpose Between 2006 and 2016, local communities in semi-arid Bobirwa sub-district in the Limpopo Basin part of Botswana had endured notable fluctuations in the delivery of critical ecosystem services. These changes have been coupled with adverse effects on local people’s livelihood options and well-being. However, a few such studies have focussed...
Article
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Climate extremes are widely projected to become more severe as the global climate continues to warm due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. These extremes often cause the most severe impacts on society. Therefore, the extent to which the extremes might change at regional level as the global climate warms from current levels to proposed polic...
Article
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An increasing number of research programs seek to support adaptation to climate change through the engagement of large-scale transdisciplinary networks that span countries and continents. While transdisciplinary research processes have been a topic of reflection, practice and refinement for some time, these trends now mean that the global change re...
Conference Paper
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The water management community has hitherto underestimated many of the uncertainties in climate impact scenarios, in particular, uncertainties associated with decadal climate variability. For instance, southern African summer rainfall has recently been shown to exhibit significant periodicities at the interannual timescale (2-8 years), quasi-decada...
Article
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Water is fundamental to human well-being and economic growth. Measuring how water contributes to sustainable development is an important aspect of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, ‘Water and sanitation for all’. This importance is especially significant for water-scarce developing countries such as South Africa. Appropriate...
Article
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The importance of measuring inequalities in sustainable development is reflected in the requirement to disag-gregate national data for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this paper, piped water access, water use and water stress are mapped and reported at national, provincial, district, municipal, town and ward levels, and urban and rural...
Conference Paper
The water management community has hitherto neglected or underestimated many of the uncertainties in climate impact scenarios, in particular, uncertainties associated with decadal climate variability. Uncertainty in the state-of-the-art global climate models (GCMs) is time-scale-dependant, e.g.stronger at decadal than at interannual timescales, in...