My colleagues Karin Holmgren and Helena Öberg have looked at the impact of climate changes over the last 1000 years on societies in Africa. In their paper they look at climate proxy data from southern and eastern Africa and identify extreme changes. These are then related to societal changes such as the rise and fall of empires. They found that some well organised societies were able to weather significant swings in climate. Other societies collapsed unable to adjust to climate change. It’s a pretty interesting paper and figure 2. in particular caught my eye (posted below with permission from the authors).
Whilst on the subject of East Africa Mats Widgren has an update on SEKABs activities in Tanzania. The Swedish Internation Development Agency, SIDA, will not be providing credit guarantees for the project. Mats furthermore reports from a conference in which the local benefits of the project were challenged.