The northern part of the region has moved into its dry season with a fairly sharp cutoff in our Gauteng province but with Free State dam levels looking good after above average summer rains. In the water short southern parts rains have not set in sufficiently to impact significantly on dam levels. Columbia University’s International… Continue reading Southern Africa Climate, Outlook and Dam Levels Update May 2017
Sand appears such a freely available universal resource that it is easy to forget that availability is not a given and mining it can give rise to problems. In South Africa we are well aware of the exploitation of ilmenite sands and the effect on the environment. These sands are the most important source of… Continue reading Sand
[This account was written in 2015 and is the first of a series of travelogues first circulated as emails. Pictures by the author except for the Great Zimbabwe ruins and exterior of the museum.] Mapungubwe is an historic site in the far north of South Africa bordering the Limpopo River, now included in a national… Continue reading Mapungubwe
Experts around the world, including the Quantum Metrology Unit of Britain’s National Physical Laboratory have been working for years on defining a second of time. If they had asked me I could have told them; in fact I am so familiar with the concept that I use it all the time, as when my wife… Continue reading Quantum Mechanics Explained
In the light of South Africa’s new republic status I thought that we could enter into a trade agreement with UK for the export of bananas but do we have to wait two years before UK law will allow SA shaped ones to be allowed in? Britain’s looming exit from the EU and presumably from… Continue reading Brexit and South Africa
A number of my local readers are familiar with the 11,595ha Suikerbosrand Reserve, the Afrikaans name meaning ridge of the sugar bushes, where sugar bushes are not the maple syrup yielding trees of North America but rather proteas. This is one of the few places close to the built up areas of Johannesburg where one… Continue reading Suikerbosrand, Judgement Reserved?
Good rains have occurred in the northern part of the region while drought conditions continue in the south. This has allowed dam levels to increase rapidly in one part of the region while reaching dangerously low levels in other parts. Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society reports that mid March conditions in… Continue reading Southern Africa Climate, Outlook and Dam Levels