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Type: Journal article
Title: Can famine be averted? A spatiotemporal assessment of the impact of climate change on food security in the Luvuvhu river catchment of South Africa
Author: Mukwada, G.
Mazibuko, S.M.
Moeletsi, M.
Robinson, G.M.
Citation: Land, 2021; 10(5):1-16
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 2073-445X
Statement of
Geoffrey Mukwada, Sabelo M. Mazibuko, Mokhele Moeletsi and Guy M. Robinson
Abstract: Climate change has proved to be a threat to food security the world over. Using temperature and precipitation data, this paper examines the differential effects climate change has on different land uses in the Luvuvhu river catchment in South Africa. The paper uses the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Vegetation Condition Index (VCI), which were calculated from Landsat images, and the Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI) for a sample of years between 1980 and 2016 to assess how drought and flood frequency have affected the agricultural environment. The results indicate that the lowest SPI values were recorded in 1996/1997, 2001/2002 and 2014/2015, suggesting the occurrence of drought during these years, while the highest SPI values were recorded in 1997/1998, 2002/2003 and 2004/2005. The relationship between three-month SPI (SPI_3) and VCI was strongest in grassland, and subsistence farming areas with the correlation coefficients of 0.8166 (p = 0.0022) and −0.6172 (p = 0.0431), respectively, indicating that rainfall variability had a high negative impact on vegetation health in those land uses with shallow-rooted plants. The findings of this study are relevant to disaster management planning in South Africa, as well as development of farming response strategies for coping with climate hazards in the country.
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/)
DOI: 10.3390/land10050527
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