The planet has already undergone thousands of changes over the last million years, and this will continue to happen in the future. One animation even predicts what kind of supercontinent the Earth will become in 250 million years. According to a new study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, The Sahara Desert was once an environment filled with trees, water, and abundant green nature.
A research team from Finland and the United Kingdom conducted an in-depth study of wet periods in North Africa over the last 800,000 years, showing that the Sahara Desert went through phases of high humidity. They explain thisThe environment is experiencing significant ‘green phases’There is a greater amount of water vapor in the atmosphere and therefore more vegetation.
The study, based on simulations of Saharan greening intervals, proves that: the region’s wet periods were influenced by “the effects of the planet’s ice sheets and the high latitude of the Northern Hemisphere.”
“The cyclical transformation of the Sahara Desert into savannah and forest ecosystems is one of the most remarkable environmental changes on the planet. Our paper is one of the first climate modeling studies to simulate African wet spells of comparable magnitude to those shown by paleoclimate observations, revealing why and when these events occur,” explains one of the study authors, climate scientist Edward Armstrong of the University of Helsinki, Finland.
Green Sahara Desert?
The data shows that the Sahara Desert presented periodic moisture at different times in the past. It is full of rivers, vegetation, and animals that depend on water to survive, such as hippos.
Researchers note that green periods are triggered by changes in conditions in Earth’s orbit, specifically the planet’s wobble on its axis. This may have caused the influence of seasonal contrasts in a repeating cycle of about 21 thousand years. stages The greens were not absolute but they did return from time to time.
The results also show that: Different ice ages did not experience these periods, as ice sheets cooled the atmosphere to a level that could suppress this phenomenon.. Most climate models have difficulty representing the humid phases of the Sahara, but the new paper offers successful results, according to the study’s co-author and professor of physical geography at the University of Bristol (UK).
“The door was open when the Sahara was green, closed when deserts dominated. This alternation of wet and dry phases had major consequences for the spread and evolution of species in Africa. Our ability to model the wet periods of northern Africa is a major achievement.” This also means that we are now in a better position to model human distributions and understand the evolution of our species in Africa,” says study co-author Miikka Tallavaara, assistant professor of hominin environments at the University of Helsinki.
Stay up to date with more curiosities about planet Earth at TecMundo. If you want, learn how climate change is causing tree growth in tropical forests.
Source: Tec Mundo
I’m Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I’ve written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.