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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Does El Niņo really affect rainfall in Namibia?
Author:Smit, Pierre
Periodical:Journal - Namibia Scientific Society (ISSN 1018-7677)
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Namibia
Southern Africa
Environment, Ecology
climate change
Statistical data
El Niņo Current
Abstract:At intervals of c. three to eight years a significant disturbance of ocean and atmosphere along the west coast of South America occurs. Usually its effects last for more than a year, bringing climatic anomalies over the southern hemisphere. The phenomenon is called El Niņo. The drought spells experienced in southern Africa since the 1980s, the El Niņo event that parallels dry seasons in the summer rainfall areas and the growing concern about land deterioration due to unchanging land use practices during dry years have brought forward a probable interrelationship which is often discussed in the media without producing definite links. The El Niņo event itself, its causes, and its consequences for southern Africa, notably Namibia, are investigated in this paper. Analysis of rainfall data of twelve selected weather stations in Namibia over a 120-year period indicates that the occurrence of an El Niņo event does not necessarily enable the prediction of any spatial or temporal pattern of rainfall distribution in Namibia and that an El Niņo event does not necessarily coincide with a dry, or wet, rainy season. Rather, the occurrence of drought in Namibia seems to be associated with local and even regional climatological mechanisms, something an El Niņo event may accentuate. Bibliogr., sum. in English, German and Afrikaans.