Friday, April 6, 2018

The Sahara Desert Has Grown 10 Percent in the Last Century

 According to a new study from the University of Maryland, the Sahara desert, the largest desert in the world, has grown in size by around 10 percent since 1920. Scientists have noted that one of the primary reasons for this is likely climate change.
 In the study, the team found the most variations in the northern and southern borders of the Sahara desert. The study also examined the Sahel region, the transitional zone between the southern Sahara and the Sudanian Savanna.
 "The Chad Basin falls in the region where the Sahara has crept southward," said Sumant Nigam. "And the lake is drying out. It's a very visible footprint of reduced rainfall not just locally, but across the whole region. It's an integrator of declining water arrivals in the expansive Chad Basin."
 "Deserts generally form in the subtropics because of the Hadley circulation, through which air rises at the equator and descends in the subtropics," said Nigam. "Climate change is likely to widen the Hadley circulation, causing northward advance of the subtropical deserts. The southward creep of the Sahara however suggests that additional mechanisms are at work as well, including climate cycles such as the AMO."

Read more about this fascinating story at: https://www.sciencealert.com/sahara-expanding-10-percent-climate-change-to-blame
Or read the full study at: https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0187.1?journalCode=clim

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