Little ice age drought in equatorial Africa: Intertropical convergence zone migrations and El Niño-Southern oscillation variability

James M. Russell, T. C. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

High-resolution analyses of the Mg concentration in authigenic calcite in five cores from Lake Edward provide a water balance history of central equatorial Africa spanning the past 1400 yr. A high ratio of Mg to Ca (%Mg) indicates strong droughts in central Africa during the Little Ice Age (A.D. 1400-1750), in contrast to records from Lake Naivasha, Kenya, which suggest a wet Little Ice Age. This spatial pattern in Africa likely arose due to coupled changes in the high latitudes, the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) system. Our results further suggest that the patterns and variability of twentieth-century rainfall in central Africa have been unusually conducive to human welfare in the context of the past 1400 yr.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-24
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Carbonate
  • Lake Edward
  • Little Ice Age
  • Medieval warm period
  • Paleoclimate

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • EDW

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