Nilometers, El Nino, and climate variability

Title Nilometers, El Nino, and climate variability
Publication Type Journal Article
Year of Publication 1999
Authors Eltahir, E. A. B. & Wang, G. L.
Volume 26
Date Published 1999
Abstract have been used for gauging the level of water in the Mile river for more than five millennia. The written records describing some of these measurements represent the longest written records for any hydrological phenomenon. They describe interannual fluctuations in the Mile river flow which are closely associated with El Nino phenomenon. Here, we use information about long-term variability in El Nino occurrences that has been extracted from the Nilometers records to test the significance of the recent-trend in the frequency of El Nine years. We show that the observed frequency of EI Nino years during the last two decades is rather high compared to the long-term statistics that are computed from about a thousand years of Nilometers data; however similar levels of activity have been observed during the first millennium.

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