The Sahara Desert is one of Africa’s most well-known features. They say it’s the hottest spot in the planet. Empty and dusted with sand. Who would have believed that the Sahara Desert was once a lush forest?
Today, the Sahara is recognized as a desert with a particularly harsh environment. However, there is a surprising diversity of plant and animal life in the desert.
This desert is also often believed to span the whole of northern Africa. Where, exactly, is the Sahara Desert located?
There are ten nations that are home to the Sahara Desert’s 9.4 million acres of desert. The list begins with Algeria, continuing through Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tunisia. According to Live Science, fresh water is a scarce commodity in the Sahara.
Despite what you may have read above, the Sahara is really traversed by two perennial rivers. Two major rivers—the Nile and the Niger—and twenty temporary lakes. It’s a big aid to the local fauna. Because Saharan temperatures may reach dizzying heights.
The Sahara Desert has a wide range of temperatures, from 49 degrees Celsius in the summer to -18 degrees Celsius in the winter. According to the American Meteorological Society, snow is more common in mountainous regions. The Sahara Desert’s air temperature is that high.
The Sahara Desert of 11,000 to 5,000 years ago looked very different from modern-day deserts. The dunes are home to a variety of plant life. As a result of the increasing rainfall, the Sahara’s dry caves have been transformed into lakes.
North Africa became verdant as a consequence. attracts fauna like hippos, antelopes, elephants, and aurochs already residing in the area. The term “African Moist Period” describes this time frame.
Constant changes in Earth’s orbit around its axis are responsible for the African Humid Period. Professor of Earth Systems at the University of California, Irvine, Kathleen Johnson claims this cycle repeats every 23,000 years.
A shift in the earth’s axis causes the occurrence of Green Sahara. The Earth’s axial tilt has decreased from its initial value of 24.1 degrees, reached around 8,000 years ago, to its current value of 23.5 degrees. The angle of the slope is crucial.
An increase in solar heat in the Northern Hemisphere during the summer due to the Earth’s axial tilt. The increasing strength of the African monsoon winds has been linked to the sun’s increasing radiation. Low air pressure, caused by rising temperatures over the Sahara, transports moisture-laden Atlantic Ocean fog to the parched Saharan landscape.
The Sahara becomes a grassland due to the increasing water vapor or humidity. Researchers have found this phenomena to be fascinating due of its seemingly random onset and termination.
The Green Sahara was transformed into the parched Sahara over the course of two centuries. Solar radiation changes owing to Earth’s movement, Johnson said, happened gradually, but the planet’s location changed rapidly.
A green Sahara is possible, according to scientists. But carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be an obstacle.
Changes in the global climate are occurring at an accelerating rate due to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, it is unclear as to when the Sahara will once again be a verdant pasture.