The Holocene Climates of South Africa

  • Jennifer M. Fitchett
Part of the World Regional Geography Book Series book series (WRGBS)


Variations in Holocene climate are of importance in understanding the contemporary diversity found in global climates and biogeography. This is particularly true for South Africa, which spans the subtropics and midlatitudes, and is bordered to the east by the warm Indian Ocean Agulhas Current, and to the west by the cold Atlantic Ocean Benguela Current. Holocene variations in South African climate include evidence for globally synchronous warming and cooling events, and for locally discrete variations in both precipitation amount and seasonality. The study of Holocene climates relies heavily on fossil proxies. Due to the aridity of much of the region in the Holocene, poor preservation of these proxies has been a critical challenge. Key future trajectories in South African Holocene climate science include concerted efforts to better spatially and temporally resolve the climate record, for key periods of interest, and more generally to determine local-scale climatic variability and climatic drivers.


Multiproxy Precipitation Ocean currents Rainfall zones Seasonality 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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