Fayerweather Hall (Room 513), Columbia University, 1180 Amsterdam Avenue, New York
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.
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