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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Changing land use & environmental fluctuations in the African savanna
Author:Williams, MartinISNI
Book title:African savannas: global narratives & local knowledge of environmental change
Geographic terms:Sudan
land use
agricultural land
Abstract:Interactions between human societies and the environment are complex and hard to unravel. The author uses a series of seven case studies drawn from different parts of the north African savanna in an attempt to answer the following question: How might we identify recent environmental changes caused by human activities from those caused by other factors? Three examples relate to accelerated soil erosion in Ethiopia and Niger, all of which have quite different causes and repercussions. One example deals with the depositional legacy of the Nile in the Sudan, concluding that salinity in cotton fields along the lower White Nile has more to do with the alluvial history of the Nile than with current climate and land use. The remaining examples deal with water use in Somalia, the curious case of a lake in Ethiopia that was rising during the height of the 1964-1967 droughts, and a more general analysis of historic floods and droughts in Ethiopia and the Sudan. Ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]