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MWP & LIA In Southern Africa

April 21, 2013
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By Paul Homewood


More evidence that the MWP & LIA were not European phenomena. A study by two South African scientists, Tyson & Lindesay, in 1992, entitled “The climate of the last 2000 years in southern Africa” finds evidence of both in Southern Africa.



Until recently, relatively little was known of the exact nature of climatic change in southern Africa over the past two millennia. New research based on oxygen isotope analyses of cave speleothems and mollusc remains in shell middens, together with foraminifera studies of inshore marine deposits, palynological and micromammalian research and earlier dendrochronological work, has allowed more reliable identification of the effects of the ‘Little Ice Age’ in the subcontinent. Cooling prevailed from 1300 to 1850 with a warm episode occurring between about 1500 and 1675. In addition, the generally warmer period from about 900 to 1300 may have been associated with the Medieval Warm Epoch. Earlier distinctive events appear to have been a variable period of cooling from 600 to 900, a warmer period from about AD 250 to 600 and a notable interval of cooling between AD 100 and 200.

Much of the evidence for the ‘Little Ice Age’ in southern Africa suggests that in the summer rainfall region drier conditions prevailed during the period of cooling. At the same time the winter rainfall region became wetter. This supports a previous postulation that as the tropical easterlies of the general circulation of the atmosphere strengthen and become more perturbed over southern Africa over extended periods, so the climate becomes wetter over the summer rainfall area. As the circumpolar westerlies strengthen and expand northward, so the summer rainfall region becomes drier, while the coastal Mediterranean winter rainfall region becomes wetter.

  1. April 21, 2013 2:01 pm

    Welcome back to reality. Give it a week or so and you’ll be off to Scotland again.

    Hope you had a good break.

  2. April 21, 2013 2:05 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  3. May 14, 2013 11:34 am

    Reblogged this on CraigM350.

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