The Changing Climate of Africa Part I: Introduction and Eastern Africa

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Abstract

Describing conditions similar to the twenty-first century, perhaps the earliest written record of climate in Africa is that of Theophrastus (372–287 B.C.) who wrote of the Red Sea coast that “a little north of Koptos [on the Egyptian Red Sea shore] there grows on the land no tree except that called the thirsty Acacia [A. tortilis], and even this is scarce by reason of the heat and lack of water, for it never rains except at intervals of 4 or 5 years, and then the rain comes down heavily and it is soon over” (Hort 1916–1926).