Historical climatology can dramatically extend the climate record in many parts of the world. That has definitely been the case for Africa, where the instrumental record of many countries barely goes back to the early twentieth century. This talk will focus on five aspects of the historical climatology of Africa: information sources, quantification of non-instrumental data, development of a two-century semi-quantitative data set for the whole continent, and two unusual periods with the nineteenth century. One is pan-African drought early in that century and the other is the 1878 flood events linked to El Niño. These will be compared to modern climate anomalies. Also to be discussed is how an understanding of those episodes helped to shape our modern understanding of African climate.
Sharon Nicholson, Professor of Meteorology, Florida State University
Free and open to the public; registration required. Columbia University ID holders may attend in person. Members of the public must attend virtually via Zoom.
Part of the History and Climate Change workshop series hosted by the Environmental Sciences and Humanities Research Cluster and co-funded by the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy.
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