Climatic Change

, Volume 48, Issue 2–3, pp 387–398 | Cite as

Rainfall Conditions in Equatorial East Africa during the Nineteenth Century as Inferred from the Record of Lake Victoria

  • Sharon E. Nicholson
  • Xungang Yin


The East African lakes have exhibited dramaticfluctuations on both historical and paleo-climatictime scales. Levels of these lakes, and otherhistorical indicators in Africa, suggested thatenvironmental conditions in the nineteenth centurywere much more extreme than anything evident in themodern record. In this study, a water balance modelis used to estimate the rainfall associated with theseconditions, based on the Lake Victoria record. Theresults suggest that the conditions were not unlikeanomalous periods found during the twentieth century,but they may have persisted for somewhat longerperiods of time. The paper also demonstrates ageneric tool that can be applied to interpretinghistorical and paleo-lake levels in quantitative termsof rainfall.


Twentieth Century Nineteenth Century Water Balance Balance Modelis Rainfall Condition 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon E. Nicholson
    • 1
  • Xungang Yin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MeteorologyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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