Biomes

Text and maps on this page are created directly from the SANBI Biodiversity GIS website. A map for Areas of Biome Stability provides an indication of which biomes are most at risk to the impacts of climate change. Maps are also presented for different future climate change scenarios.

Introduction

South Africa has nine biomes. Each biome has a characteristic ‘climate envelope’ or a range and pattern of temperature and rainfall values within which it occurs. A drastic change in climate will naturally result in a biome shift.

Based on outputs from 15 global circulation models that were statistically downscaled, the National Biodiversity Assessment 2011 team developed three downscaled climate scenarios for South Africa, looking ahead to approximately 2050:
  • Best case scenario: smallest predicted increases in temperature and changes in rainfall.
  • Intermediate scenario: middle of the range (median) predicted increases in temperature increases and changes in rainfall.
  • Worst case scenario: greatest predicted increases in temperature and changes in rainfall.
This means that the results presented in this chapter are not dependent on any particular global circulation model but hold under a range of possible climate futures. Use the tool below to view maps about current biome stability and the different future climate change scenarios. Click on the "+" sign to expand each section.