21st COE Program Seminar
Public Seminar on African Area Studies
Date: Thursday, October 20, 2005 15:00 - 17:00
Venue: Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University,
East Building, 2nd Floor, E207
Title: "Holocene Climate of Namibia: A Review Based on Geoarchives"
Speaker: Dr. Klaus HEINE
(Institute of Geography, University of Regensburg, Germany / Visiting Scholar, Graduate School of Asian and African Area
Namibia is a large country, covering an area of about 823,680 km2 and
spanning some 1,320 km between ca. 17° and 29° S and roughly 12° and 25°
E. Its coastline of approximately 1,570 km separates the land from the
Atlantic Ocean. The climate is extremely arid near the coast and semi-arid
further inland. Unfortunately, evidence of Holocene climate changes for Namibia
is sparse, geographically scattered and often poorly dated. I present a review
of the climatic history of Namibia of the last 10,000 years based on a
palaeoclimatic interpretation of geoarchives and archaeological findings. The
available evidence suggests little climatic fluctuations during the Holocene.
There is evidence of more humidity compared to today during the early Holocene.
Short dry episodes occurred around 8000 and 5000 - 3000 years before present.
Since 1000 years the sea surface temperatures of the cold coastal current show
a decline and since ca. 500 years Namibia experienced in the Namib Desert and
adjacent areas more arid conditions than before. Extreme flash floods occurred
more frequently during the Early Holocene and during the Little Ice Age (ca.
1350-1850 A.D.), probably correlating to variations of sun spot activity.
Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University