Climatic Change

, Volume 131, Issue 2, pp 273–285 | Cite as

El Niño-southern oscillation and cassava production in Tanzania and Brazil

  • O. S. A. OluwoleEmail author


Konzo epidemics occur during droughts in East, Central, and Southern Africa, where the population depends almost exclusively on poorly processed cassava. Warm phases of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific decadal Oscillation (PDO) are associated with droughts in these areas of Africa, but with increase rainfall in South America. To further understanding of the relationship of droughts, cassava production, and konzo epidemics, this study was done to determine if there is coherence of spectra of ENSO, PDO and cassava production. Annual time series of cassava production in Tanzania and Brazil, multivariate ENSO index (MEI), and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation index (PDO) from 1961–2013 were compared. Wavelet and cross wavelet analyses of cassava production, ENSO, and PDO were performed. Warm phases of ENSO and PDO were associated with high cassava production in Tanzania, but with low cassava production in Brazil. Spectrogram of cassava showed significantly high production at periodicities of 3–9 years in Tanzania, but with significantly low production at periodicities of 2–6 years in Brazil. Cross wavelet spectrograms showed coherence of cassava production, ENSO and PDO in Tanzania and Brazil. Time-varying cyclical cassava production in Tanzania and Brazil are coupled to ENSO and PDO modes. Occurrence of droughts, high cassava production, and konzo epidemics in Tanzania are attributable to the impact of climate variability, which should be the focus of public health policies to control konzo epidemics.


Cassava Pacific Decadal Oscillation Warm Phasis Cold Phasis Cassava Root 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Funding and Conflict of Interest

No funding was received from private or government agencies for this study. Thus, no conflict of interest exists.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurology Unit College of MedicineUniversity of IbadanIbadanNigeria

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