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Pleistocene palaeoclimatology in higher latitudes has been mainly concerned with temperature variations and the succession of glacial and interglacial stages. In Africa the concern has been mainly with changes of rainfall and the “pluvial and interpluvial” hypothesis. This was originally suggested in East Africa in an unstable and volcanic region, and it was rather uncritically extended to the stable and nonvolcanic Central and Southern African region. In the absence of vulcanicity and tectonic disturbance it should be possible to make reasonable deductions on Pleistocene climates. Under certain conditions attempts have been made to estimate rainfall changes quantitatively, and these are reviewed. Different methods seem to give results indicating that rainfall variations have been similar at different periods in the Pleistocene in this region. Now that pollen studies are making progress it is possible to estimate not only rainfall changes but temperature variations as well, and palynology is likely to prove the most useful and accurate method in the future.

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