The recent IPCC-SREX report focuses on the impact of extreme weather
events on societies and underlines the absence of reliable data to assert a
solid link between them and the current global climate change. Thanks to the
unpublished materials that are contained in historic archives, this article
suggests studying the cyclones which affected the Mascarene islands
between 1654 and 2007 and which supply us with a catalog of hitherto
unpublished events. Inspired by the Simpson-Saffir hurricanes Wind Scale, the
research proposes a relative evaluation of the extremes of the region. It underlines
the big fluctuations in the last three centuries and partially answers the
current debate on the reliability of the data in relation to hurricanes and
their link with the contemporary climate. The available archives show that this
type of meteorological event has occurred frequently during the relevant
historical period and that for that reason, has given rise to original
strategies of adaptation on the part of the societies affected. The results
presented here constitute new and reliable data which could make an important
contribution to the decision-makers and to climatologists trying to design
strategies which the populations of small islands facing the climatic hazards
of the future will have to adopt.
Cite this paper
Garnier, E. and Desarthe, J. (2013) Cyclones and Societies in the Mascarene Islands 17th-20th Centuries. American Journal of Climate Change, 2, 1-13. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2013.21001.
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