Rainfall in Madagascar. Figure 1: Schematic summary of recent 24-month rainfall totals averaged over the region of Androy in southern Madagascar, using CHIRPS rainfall data (via USGS EWX Next Generation Viewer). Coloured bars indicate which time of year is associated with different proportions of rainfall; the red and purple bars highlight the two worst rainfall deficits over a 24-month period on record: 1990-92 and the ongoing 2019-21 event. Source World Weather Attribution. Fair Use, low resolution image to identify the subject.

Study: Global warming not responsible for Madagascar Famine

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

“It’s really important not to automatically assume that every bad thing that is happening is because of climate change, it’s not true.”

Global warming not responsible for Madagascar famine: study

Issued on: 02/12/2021 – 06:34Modified: 02/12/2021 – 06:32

Paris (AFP) – Global warming played only a minimal role in the famine that has hit Madagascar, according to a new study published Thursday which contradicts a UN description of the crisis as a “climate change famine”.

The southern Indian Ocean island off Africa has been hit by its worst drought in four decades.

The UN’s World Food Programme said last month that more than 1.3 million people there were considered to be in a food security crisis or emergency as a result.

In June the WFP said Madagascar is the “first country in the world that is experiencing famine-like conditions as a result of the climate crisis”.

“Our results are not surprising, they are very much in line with previous studies,” of Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute told AFP.

“I was more surprised by the UN branding this as clearly as climate change induced,” she added, saying “extreme events are always a combination of things”.

“It’s really important not to automatically assume that every bad thing that is happening is because of climate change, it’s not true.”

Read more: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211202-global-warming-not-responsible-for-madagascar-famine-study

A copy of the study is available on World Weather Attribution.

In my opinion, the main reason the people of Madagascar are poor is their government are a bunch of thugs, an opinion backed by the US Department of State Human Rights Report. Climate Change is likely just an excuse to cover a complete failure to provide basic services.

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Dave Fair
December 3, 2021 11:09 pm

“According to the WWA report, “poverty, poor infrastructure and dependence on rain-fed agriculture, combined with natural climate variability, are the main factors behind the Madagascar food crisis, with climate change playing no more than a small part.” One of the authors went on to say that any climate change effect is unmeasurable.

Friederike Otto and Robert Vautard are in great danger of cancellation. Any way to track their careers going forward? I am going to bookmark Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute’s website. The Institute could probably look forward to angry mobs attacking it.

The UN and its World Food Program are climate change liars. Along with Xiden, Kerrey & etc. Let’s Go Brandon!

Last edited 1 year ago by Charlie Skeptic
Zig Zag Wanderer
December 4, 2021 12:18 am

It’s really important not to automatically assume that every bad thing that is happening is because of climate change, it’s not true.

But that’s the easiest way to avoid blame, and avoid having to actually do anything about it. In addition, you get to claim all sorts of extra goodies because Climate Change!

December 4, 2021 12:28 am

“ I was more surprised by the UN branding this as clearly as climate change induced,”

Really? After the relentless hype put out this year?

December 4, 2021 12:30 am

I don’t know if the current leaders are more of a “bunch of thugs” any more that those in many African countries are. Having worked there for about 3 years in the 1970’s I think the main problem is the high population growth…from 8 million in 1973 when I was there to 28 million today and currently growing at 2.7%. This leads to food supply issues and any dry spell can be disasterous. Certainly not due to climate change.

Such a lovely country with wonderful people; but so desperately poor. Tourism will help so try and visit if you can…great scenery, diving and wildlife and gemstones. They have nickel and cobalt so maybe that will help too with increasing prices for these commodities. The cobalt mine is owned by the Japanese and South Koreans so that’s a good sign.

Ron Long
Reply to  Alastair Brickell
December 4, 2021 2:00 am

Alastair, there is a place to check for corruption, see “Transparency International Corruption Perception Index”, which, for 2020, places Madagascar at 149 worst out of 180 ranked countries. Their score of 25 compares to New Zealand at 88, where New Zealand is the least corrupt country in the ranking.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Ron Long
December 4, 2021 3:15 am

Already a major producer of large-flake graphite, with production ramping up to meet demand from the battery sector.

Reply to  Ron Long
December 4, 2021 9:56 am

NZ the least corrupt. They have just become an apart ide nation, with those without vaccinations for the China virus no longer full citizens.

But I guess if those sub humans can’t buy their way to freedom, then NZ is not corrupt!

Reply to  Drake
December 4, 2021 12:16 pm

What’s an “ide” nation? Should I know?

Reply to  Graham Lyons
December 4, 2021 1:04 pm

I think that Drake meant apartheid.

Reply to  Alastair Brickell
December 5, 2021 12:11 pm

Beginning the ’60s, just after independance from France, Madagascar was exporting long rice and zebu’s proceeded meat for example. But the population was less than 6 millions and now 25 without increasing surfaces for agriculture out of deforestation and slash-and-burn farming. Heavy rains erode the existing soil of very poor laterite. A lot of overpasture for malnourished zebus as the local custom is that one is considered rich by the number of zebus owned and not by their well-fed state.

Peta of Newark
December 4, 2021 12:33 am

Quote:”Climate Change is likely just an excuse to cover a complete failure to provide basic services.”

What do you mean by ‘likely
Climate Change is an absolute gift for, as stated ‘poor government and thugs
(Expand your notion of what a thug might look like – maybe the ‘and‘ should be = ‘are‘)

A gift for junk science, fake empathy, fake news, fake people, buck passers, lazy no-good sons of bitches and Fake Everything.

Because, there are 7+ Billion ‘climates’ on this world and every single one of them is different from the rest…..

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 4, 2021 5:02 am

Let’s face it Climate Change is an absolute gift, aka get out of ja free card, for all politicians, civil servants and utility suppliers the world over.

Storm Arwen has left people in Northern. England and Scotland facing a second week without electricity. Naturally nothing to do with incompetence but made worse by climate change. Last year 400,000 discharges of raw sewage in rivers and the sea by UK water companies. Lack of investment, that’s not what Thatcher said she said more investment would follow however I digress, but climate change is making these much more likely. Water rationing during periods of low rainfall = not us gov it’s climate change don’t you know.

Bojo has sorted being asked difficult questions, just ignore them completely and the MSM moves on.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 5, 2021 6:24 am

Amazingly The Guardian (3rd Dec) published a letter which said

As someone who has lived in and around this area for decades, I have watched trees encroaching on power lines due to inadequate maintenance. The question is how much of the damage is due to unprecedented neglect as opposed to unprecedented severity of the storm

(I guess if he hadn’t put the second unprecedented in the letter would not have been published)

December 4, 2021 1:33 am

Have they failed to notice that poor governance and thuggery isn’t exactly confined to Madagascar – or even to Africa?

Much incompetence and cruelty here in UK, not to mention US, Oz, EU etc.

OK, we have quite a way to get down to the levels that have been obvious in most of Africa for half a century, but our own Beloved Leaders are doing their very best to beat them and their new Chinese Colonial masters at their own game.

A race to the bottom!

What could go wrong?

And never mind marshalling facts and using that fuddy duddy racist logic and reason!

97% of scientists agree that it is how you FEEL about a situation that really matters!

December 4, 2021 1:56 am

Rhodesia was the food basket of Africa before independence. Independence, together with its name change to Zimbabwe and rule by thugs, led to it changing from the food basket of Africa to the basket case of Africa.

December 4, 2021 1:50 am

How many countries in Africa are not run by a bunch of thugs? Corruption is rife and the elite dictators and their minions purloin vast sums of money.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
December 4, 2021 2:02 am

How many countries in Africa are not run by a bunch of thugs?
Corruption is rife and the elite dictators and their minions purloin vast sums of money.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
December 4, 2021 2:19 am

While corruption, fraud, mismanagement, incompetence and the like are to be found in every country, these tend to be worse in certain parts of the world like in African countries. People are too poor and powerless to push back. Democracy is a sham like in Zimbabwe that simply replaced Mugabe with Mugabe 2.0. Africa does not have a climate problem or a problem with population numbers – it is a huge continent with massive potential – but a people problem.

December 4, 2021 2:12 am

It’s really important to automatically assume that every bad thing that is happening is because of CO2 induced climate change … & the BBC tells us this … constantly.

When CO2 was 350ppm I was fine, but now with CO2 at 410ppm I have Hemorrhoids !!
What more proof do you need.

Last edited 1 year ago by 1saveenergy
Reply to  saveenergy
December 4, 2021 3:13 am

We’ve all got haemorroids (at least we’d be in trouble if we hadn’t). I suspect you have piles.

Reply to  Disputin
December 4, 2021 8:53 am


I picked this up from the bottom of the pile today !

It’s one way of resolving itching piles !!

Last edited 1 year ago by 1saveenergy
Joao Martins
December 4, 2021 2:25 am

” Global warming not responsible for Madagascar Famine ”
This is really news!

Astonishing, perplexing:

A calamity which is not caused by climate change!

Joseph Zorzin
December 4, 2021 3:29 am

There has been a great deal of erosion in Madagascar due to clear cutting hillsides. That may not be a major contribution to agricultural problems but it must be a factor. I recall many years ago when National Geographic had an issue focused on this problem with aerial photos showing the massive erosion.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 4, 2021 5:59 am

Yes, that’s quite right. I’ve flown from Nairobi to Madagascar many times and from about half way across the ocean between the two you could see the red stain in the ocean waters. Long before you could see the Red Island itself. Quite sad…this was in about 1974 and I’m sure it was not new then. A huge loss of soil caused by poor people just trying to survive.

December 4, 2021 3:31 am

To be clear, the drought and ensuing famine are restricted to the Androy region in the southern point of Madagascar, representing just under 22.000 sq.km of the island’s total area of close to 590.000 sq.km. The Androy (land of the ‘roy’ – pronounced ‘roowy’ – or spiny bush) is semi- to sub-arid with annual rainfall between 400 and 700 mm. Its recent history shows recurring periods of severe drought, eventually leading to famine. The most severe occurred in 1930-1931, 1936, 1943-1944 (half of the population left the region, 15000 dead), 1956, 1991-1992, 2003, 2006-2007, 2011 and now, 2021. Not to detract of the scale of the tragedy, but to point out that none of what is happening now is news to the Antandroy (inhabitants of the Androy).

December 4, 2021 3:32 am

This is Micky Mouse attribution “science”, they deduce the recent drought was a “one in 135 years” event. One of the authors did something similar for the recent Cape Town drought, which apparently was a one-in-300-years event. A pretty neat “Trick”, given only several decades of data. The only way to deduce something like that is to have a sophisticated understanding of the data, which simply doesn’t exist. Could one deduce the frequency of world wars from only 20th century data?

They also deploy all the scary drought soundbites. It is worth remembering that most years of rainfall in dry areas get less rain than the “normal” (average). Typically there might be 4 years of little rain, and one year of heavy rain, giving an average greater than what is seen in all of the dry years.

Don’t trust any study that fails to show all the data.

December 4, 2021 4:04 am

In examining the headline chart of rainfall in Androy, southern Madagascar I am most concerned about the apparent total lack of April rainfall. Wonder what other details they got wrong or forgot or dismissed.

Steve Keohane
December 4, 2021 5:03 am

I find it interesting that their severe drought is at ~900mm of precipitation annually. In western Colorado our normal precip is 450mm, and about 300 for the eastern plains of the state.

Reply to  Steve Keohane
December 4, 2021 8:54 am

In Midwest states, normal annual precip is ~900 mm, so it is hard for me to believe that amount somehow translates to “severe drought” and famine in Madagascar. And that is only about 25% drop from their normal 1200 mm. I’d guesstimate from my local historical annual precip records that 25% is about 1.3 standard deviations of variance in annual precipitation, so being maybe a once in ten year event and would be considered as a rather mild drought year.

Reply to  menace
December 4, 2021 9:06 am

After a closer reconsideration of the data, I think 25% low is more of a moderate to severe drought level for my location rather than mild, about a once in 15 year event. My bad. Still 900 mm seems like plenty of rain but maybe their soils drain fast.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  menace
December 4, 2021 9:31 am

Destroyed by government.
Likely no money left over after thievery to build resiliency structures like dams and reservoirs especially if that 900mm come a in a short period.

Look no further than govt.

Same issue here in canada with the BC govt, ignored decades of reports that the flood infrastructure of their flood plain habitat was inadequate, flood comes and “climate change done it”.

Rich Davis
December 4, 2021 7:41 am

Sure the socialist thugs are responsible for the problems in Madagascar by their policies that destroy market incentives, but I totally reject the concept “complete failure to provide basic services.”

That is just Marxism Lite thinking. Government should get out of the way and let the free market work. It’s not government’s role to provide basic services, at least not government bigger than the municipal level for things like fire and police protection, or snow removal, all of which should be paid by local taxes. There ought to be absolutely no role for government in food production.

Pat from kerbob
December 4, 2021 9:28 am

All famines are now political
There is more than enough food, we don’t let people starve even in countries of committed enemies.
If people are starving to death it’s because people decided it should be so

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