North Africa could be turned green by climate change

Algerian desert

When we think of Africa, especially in the northern half, the desert immediately comes to mind; perhaps an oasis, but little else. An area where life has a hard time existing, not in vain, daytime temperatures exceed 45ºC, and rainfall is so scarce that there is no way for plants to grow. But this could change.

According to a study conducted by a team led by Jacob Schewe and Anders Levermann, which has been published in Earth System Dynamics, it has revealed that a rise of just 2 degrees Celsius could turn North Africa into an orchard.

An increase in rainfall in dry regions is usually good news, but it would be more so if these changes had occurred naturally and not as a consequence of the burning of fossil fuels. Yes, we humans have the power and ability to change the climate and, as a result, we endanger crops. Still, in the central regions of Mali, Niger and Chad the rains could help them better adapt to climate change, but will not stop being a challenge for a region where other problems already exist, such as war or famine.

According to scientists, these areas could receive as much rain as northern Cameroon, which is an area with a tropical climate rich in vegetation. This means that there would be an increase of between 40 and 300% of rainfall, which will turn North Africa into a garden.

Morocco desert

While it is not known when this change will occur, Levermann explained that could happen soon: »Once the temperature approaches the threshold - two degrees Celsius - the rainfall pattern could change in a few years.

You can read the full study by doing click here.


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