Cyclones and Societies in the Mascarene Islands 17th-20th Centuries


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 Thanks to the unpublished materials that are contained in historic archives, this article suggests studying the cyclones which affected the Mascarene islands between 1654 and 2007 and which supply us with a catalog of hitherto unpublished events.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.

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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.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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