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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Methodology of Historical Climate Reconstruction and its Application to Africa
Author:Nicolson, Sharon E.
Year:1979
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Volume:20
Issue:1
Pages:31-49
Language:English
Geographic terms:Africa
Sahel
Subjects:time
droughts
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
History and Exploration
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/181972
Abstract:Abbreviated summary: The present article deals with climatic reconstruction over a period of centuries, on the basis of indirect evidence found in historical and geographical sources. Such information can be combined with evidence from geology, palynology or the study of tree-rings to support hypotheses regarding climate and environment several centuries ago. This methodology is described and used to reconstruct the trend of rainfall fluctuation in Africa over the past millennium. Two approaches are considered: the one seeks to determine absolute variation, the other focuses on short-term climatic anomalies. The results obtained suggest that during the past millennium there have been two periods of relatively wet conditions in the semi-arid regions south of the Sahara: between the eighth and fourteenth centuries, and between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Fig., map, notes, tab.
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