Natural variability of the Nile floods: From pharaoh's dream to el niño/la niña

Natural variability in the annual flow of the Nile River has been the subject of great interest to the civilisations that have historically occupied the banks of that river. In recent history, the High Aswan Dam was constructed to control the annual flow of the Nile and to protect the region against droughts and floods that have clearly affected its people for millennia. The huge structure of the dam stands as a witness to the desperate efforts by man to control the natural variability of this vital resource. Any reduction in the uncertainty about the Nile flood would represent a valuable contribution to water resources management in Egypt. Professor Elfatih Eltahir, co-director of the Jameel Observatory | CREWSnet at MIT, offers detailed analysis of how conditions in the global oceans impact the hydrology of the Nile, and how these teleconnections can be used to improve seasonal forecasting of the Nile floods.

Elfatih Eltahir