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Sahara Desert Greening Due to Climate Change?
National Geographic News ^ | July 31, 2009 | James Owen

Posted on 08/02/2009 6:38:05 PM PDT by reaganaut1

Desertification, drought, and despair—that's what global warming has in store for much of Africa. Or so we hear.

Emerging evidence is painting a very different scenario, one in which rising temperatures could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent.

Scientists are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall.

If sustained, these rains could revitalize drought-ravaged regions, reclaiming them for farming communities.

This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago.

Green Shoots

The green shoots of recovery are showing up on satellite images of regions including the Sahel, a semi-desert zone bordering the Sahara to the south that stretches some 2,400 miles (3,860 kilometers).

Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences.

The study suggests huge increases in vegetation in areas including central Chad and western Sudan.

The transition may be occurring because hotter air has more capacity to hold moisture, which in turn creates more rain, said Martin Claussen of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, who was not involved in the new study.

"The water-holding capacity of the air is the main driving force," Claussen said.

He added that the greening trend is supported by other satellite data.

Not a Single Scorpion

While satellite images can't distinguish temporary plants like grasses that come and go with the rains, ground surveys suggest recent vegetation change is firmly rooted.

Throughout North Africa, new trees, such as acacias, are flourishing, according to Stefan Kröpelin, a climate scientist at the University of Cologne's Africa Research Unit in Germany.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalgeographic.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: africa; desert; globalwarming; sahara
I've read that cap-and-tax would have a negligible effect on climate even if one believes in the climate models -- and it's not clear that a small amount of global warming would be a bad thing.
1 posted on 08/02/2009 6:38:07 PM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: steelyourfaith

global warming ping


2 posted on 08/02/2009 6:39:37 PM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1; WL-law; Genesis defender; proud_yank; grey_whiskers; FrPR; enough_idiocy; Desdemona; ...
Thanx again !

 


Beam me to Planet Gore !

3 posted on 08/02/2009 6:42:32 PM PDT by steelyourfaith ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money" - Lady Thatcher)
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To: reaganaut1

I remember reading a while back that increasing level of C2O is causing our planet to become greener. It makes sense, as plants require c2o the way humans require o2.


4 posted on 08/02/2009 6:45:16 PM PDT by the anti-liberal
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To: reaganaut1

Don’t know about the Sahara but I’m pretty sure that climate change brought an end to the Ice Age.


5 posted on 08/02/2009 6:45:45 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Stop the DemocRATS' War On America!)
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To: reaganaut1
Wow, 'Global Warming' is actually helping desert areas.

Simply amazing!! /sarc

6 posted on 08/02/2009 6:46:25 PM PDT by Dustbunny ("Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. " Ronald Reagan)
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To: reaganaut1
This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago.

During the last ICE age.
7 posted on 08/02/2009 6:48:15 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: reaganaut1

...deserts returning to forests?...sounds good to me...I’m already thinking about an orange grove in my backyard....and I presently live in USDA plant hardiness zone 6 (0 to -5)minimum range.


8 posted on 08/02/2009 6:51:23 PM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: cripplecreek
Desert-Adapted Crocs Found in Africa

'The desert crocodiles have adapted to the changing environment in northern Africa; 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, what is now desert was probably lush savannah and grasslands. Today the Sahara is hot and arid, the land sandy, rainfall minimal, and vegetation sparse.

"The extension of range almost certainly reflects climatic changes," said Ross. "We know that even in Roman times, the Sahara was much wetter and greener than it is now. As these places slowly dried up, remnant populations became isolated from the other crocodiles on the continent. How these populations adapted to the changing conditions is most interesting." '

Shocking how there is climate cycles. /S

9 posted on 08/02/2009 6:57:26 PM PDT by BGHater (Insanity is voting for Republicans and expecting Conservatism.)
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To: reaganaut1

Why can’t these GW scientists admit that the earth has always changed, and species have always morphed into new species and died off.
Why did I take science in elementary school?


10 posted on 08/02/2009 7:03:02 PM PDT by libbylu ( Palin begins from Wasilla not only a campaign, an Iditarod of a crusade ....YEAH!)
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To: reaganaut1
Of course there are observable climate cycles in that part of the world. All of human history verifies that. The Nile valley, for example, was one of the most lush growing areas in the ancient world.

More recently, the fall of the Western Roman empire was precipitated by (among many other things) the Vandals in their sweep through what is now Spain and their capture of northern Africa, significant because that was Rome's granary. Yes, they grew wheat there ("corn" if you're reading Gibbon), enough to support an imperial city. That was not quite 1600 years ago.

Wheat in North Africa. Wineries in Britain. These things are all a part of the historical record, and any climate model that can't account for them is simply inadequate.

11 posted on 08/02/2009 7:06:52 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: reaganaut1
Much of what is now the northern Sahara desert was part of the Numadian Empire in Hannibal's day, a mere 2300 years ago or so. The Numadians were Allies of Carthage and historians describe their land as lush and tropical. They were also the source for Hannibal's famous elephants.

I guess the chariots stirred up a lot of global warming back then.

12 posted on 08/02/2009 7:07:38 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or, are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
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To: reaganaut1

The ice caps can’t melt and submerge Washington DC soon enough!


13 posted on 08/02/2009 7:09:42 PM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: reaganaut1

“The transition may be occurring because hotter air has more capacity to hold moisture, which in turn creates more rain, said Martin Claussen of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, who was not involved in the new study.”

Let me get this straight. The desert is already hot. But, if it gets hotter it will become greener. OK, got it.

Is this like boiling something until it freezes?


14 posted on 08/02/2009 7:28:29 PM PDT by headstamp 2 (Take a fish boating.)
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To: reaganaut1

Interesting, that in the “end times”:

Isa 35:1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.


15 posted on 08/02/2009 7:29:04 PM PDT by boatbums (Pro-woman, pro-child, pro-life!)
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To: Billthedrill

I watched the series “Rome”...Cleopatra’s Egypt was the primary grain supplier for all of Rome. Right?


16 posted on 08/02/2009 7:36:18 PM PDT by boatbums (Pro-woman, pro-child, pro-life!)
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To: headstamp 2

[Let me get this straight. The desert is already hot. But, if it gets hotter it will become greener. OK, got it.

Is this like boiling something until it freezes?]

Deserts are defined by their being dry - not by being hot - there are plenty of cold deserts. If the global atmospheric temperature rises by a small amount, then the moisture carrying capacity of the air will increase by a proportionate amount. More water vapor in the air = more precipitation worldwide. And more precipitation worldwide = shrinking deserts.


17 posted on 08/02/2009 8:05:46 PM PDT by spinestein (The answer is 42.)
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To: BGHater
"We know that even in Roman times, the Sahara was much wetter and greener than it is now

The era when Rome flourished was also a period of relative warming. Hmm.

18 posted on 08/02/2009 8:07:01 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: boatbums

At that time, it was Rome’s primary source of imported wheat.

Other important sources were Sicily and Africa - that would be mostly modern Tunisia.

There are many remains of rich Roman towns in Tunisia and eastern Algeria, that once thrived on agriculture.


19 posted on 08/02/2009 8:08:15 PM PDT by buwaya
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To: reaganaut1

The climate can change for the better? Who knew?


20 posted on 08/02/2009 8:30:03 PM PDT by Dr.Deth
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To: reaganaut1
This is interesting because climate activists always need to spin climate change as a catastrophe. No matter what the situation, warming can only be destructive because, otherwise, the need for IMMEDIATE ACTION TO SAVE THE WORLD NOW!!! goes away.

Unfortunately for them, this particular story cannot be spun negatively.. The Sahara even lacks that old standby of climate-change hysteria, cute animals threatened by a greening climate. So they are forced through gritted teeth to report it straight.

Science detached from politics. What a concept.

21 posted on 08/02/2009 8:30:09 PM PDT by denydenydeny ("I'm sure this goes against everything you've been taught, but right and wrong do exist"-Dr House)
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To: denydenydeny
this particular story cannot be spun negatively

They also left out the fact that greening the Sahara is a negative feedback.

22 posted on 08/03/2009 3:23:50 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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To: reaganaut1

Oh no not rain in the desert. This could be the end. /sarcasm


23 posted on 08/03/2009 3:31:25 AM PDT by bmwcyle (Obama's lies make Bill Clinton's lie small)
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To: reaganaut1; Bender2
I don't golf but this sounds like a money maker to me. Can you imagine the golf courses and surrounding communities that could be built and sold. The courses would be very challenging...with fantastic bunkers to overcome.

"What's up doc?"

24 posted on 08/03/2009 3:59:59 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Anyone pushing Romney must love socialism...Piss on Romney and his enablers!!" ~ Jim Robinson)
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To: reaganaut1
Cap-and-tax is not about fixing "global warming"; it is about controlling your energy use.

"Global warming"(aka "climate change") is just a tin pan that the elitists bang on to scare the sheep into the pen. Ever notice that whatever the crisis is at the moment, the solution is always the same?

Tells me that it's all about the "solution", and not about the crisis.

25 posted on 08/03/2009 6:46:27 AM PDT by thulldud (It HAS happened here!)
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To: reaganaut1; Allegra; big'ol_freeper; Lil'freeper; TrueKnightGalahad; blackie; Larry Lucido; ...
I'm sure the Obama White House will announce... it if all due to The Øbamanation's poop he left in Cairo. It was transplanted in the Sahara to jump start the transformation.

Now, if we could only get him... Photobucket to pee in the ocean to complete the cure for global warming!

Hey? I'm doing... my part!

26 posted on 08/03/2009 7:13:22 AM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: reaganaut1

Acacias are more like thorn bushes than trees. They are adapted to dry conditions. They resist evaporation and hoard water, making them able to survive on little. They stand up well to constant drying winds. They are small and stunted.

I have seen them everywhere on desert islands like Bonaire, NA. They remind me of our own prickly ash, useful mainly to goats and burros, of which there are lots in areas full of acacias. They make good livestock fences. I do seem to recall some sort of seed pods, which perhaps are an animal/bird feed. They will hold the soil, however, such as it is in these sorts of places, where it is mostly sand that needs to be sifted to remove the donkey dung before being amended in order to be used for anything.

But, maybe this is just to get started on NatGeo remaking its credibility.


27 posted on 08/03/2009 7:53:09 AM PDT by reformedliberal (Are we at high crimes or misdemeanors, yet?)
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To: reaganaut1

Thanks for this post! I am sending the link along to some friends of mine.


28 posted on 08/03/2009 8:27:21 AM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: cripplecreek

>>>This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago.<<<

~~~During the last ICE age.~~~

I was thinking the same thing. The last ice age was also a great time to live in the American West, too - huge freshwater lakes, forests in the hills.

However, the headline talks about “climate change,” which is constant and would occur without humanity. The nice thing about climate as a propoganda weapon is that, as the cliche goes, everyone talks about it, and in a nice twist, only centralized leftist policy can do anything about it.


29 posted on 08/03/2009 9:18:27 AM PDT by redpoll
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