Dramatic change in local climate patterns in the Amboseli basin, Kenya
The Amboseli basin, a semi-arid, open savannah area of southern Kenya, has experienced extensive changes in habitat since the early 1960's. The present report documents patterns of air temperature and rainfall in Amboseli for the 25-year period beginning 1976. Daily temperatures increased dramatically throughout this time period, at a rate almost an order of magnitude greater than that attributed to global warming. Mean daily maximum temperature increased more than did daily minimum (0.275 vs. 0.071°C per annum). Although increases in mean daily maxima were documented for all months of the year, they were greatest during the hottest months, February and March. Annual rainfall varied more than four-fold (x = 346.5 mm, SD = 120.0, range 132.0-553.4 mm), yet did not exhibit any directional or other regular pattern of variability among years over this same 25-year period. Empirical as well as theoretical investigation of relations between such changes in climatic conditions and habitat characteristics are needed at local and regional as well as global scales.
Altmann, J; Alberts, SC; Altmann, SA; Roy, SB
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