The notion that the industrialised countries were somehow responsible for the awful drought which desiccated the Horn of Africa in 1984/1985, through Global Warming pollution, has been dealt a blow, and some support, all in the same week, from the same research paper, but through different media channels.
“Catastrophic droughts in Africa are the norm, claim scientists : Catastrophic droughts in Africa such as the those which devastated the Continent in the late 20th century are the norm and not due to human activity, claim scientists. By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent : Last Updated: 6:14PM BST 16 Apr 2009 : Dry land in Ethiopia: Researchers believe the drought that struck parts of Northern Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, killing hundreds of thousands and displacing millions more, may have been the result of a natural climate cycle. In the past, many scientists thought the drought in the Sahel zone – a band that runs just below the Sahara – was caused by humans overusing natural resources in the region. But a new study in the journal Science shows that they are a natural part of weather pattern of the area for the last 3,000 years. If anything the droughts were less severe than those seen historically, with previous periods without rain lasting more than a century…”
“Climate change could worsen African ‘megadroughts’ : Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:48pm BST : By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent : WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) – The recent decades-long drought that killed 100,000 people in Africa’s Sahel may be a small foretaste of monstrous “megadroughts” that could grip the region as global climate change worsens, scientists reported on Thursday. Droughts, some lasting for centuries, are part of the normal pattern in sub-Saharan Africa. But the added stress of a warming world will make these dry periods more severe and more difficult for the people who live there, the scientists said. “Clearly, much of West Africa is already on the edge of sustainability, and the situation could become much more dire in the future with increased global warming,” said University of Arizona climatologist Jonathan Overpeck, a co-author of the study published in the journal Science. The Sahel is an area between the Sahara desert and the wetter parts of equatorial Africa that stretches across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east…”
Just a reminder of why popstars are important :-
“Close to 8 million people became famine victims during the drought of 1984, and over 1 million died. In the same year, a CBC news crew was the first to document the famine. The report shocked Canada, motivating its citizens to bring world attention to the crisis in Ethiopia. Live Aid, a 1985 fund-raising effort headed by Bob Geldof, induced millions of people in the West to donate money and to urge their governments to participate in the relief effort…”