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Africa's Lake Malawi, the site of an upcoming scientific drilling project, could provide data on climate variability and the evolution of the region's aquatic organisms, according to researchers from four U.S. universities who have received a $2-million grant through the National Science Foundation's Earth System History program.

“We believe that Lake Malawi will provide a unique, continuous, and high-resolution (annual-to-decadal) record of past climates in the continental tropics over the last 800,000 years,” said Christopher Scholz, an Earth scientist at Syracuse University in New York, and principal investigator on the project. Researchers from the University of Arizona, the University of Minnesota at Duluth, and the University of Rhode Island also have received NSF support for the drilling project, which is scheduled to begin in January 2003.