State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Birth of a Desert

 

About 10 thousand years ago, North Africa's Sahara Desert was a wide, green landscape. (photo credit: apdesign)
About 10 thousand years ago, North Africa’s Sahara Desert was a wide, green landscape. (photo credit: apdesign)

 

North Africa once was quite green,

From ancient lakes, clues we can glean:

Earth’s orbit has changed,

And rains rearranged …

Creating a vast, desert scene.

 

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Further reading:

End of the African Humid Period, News & Views by Peter deMenocal (2015) Nature Geoscience

The time-transgressive termination of the African Humid Period, Shanahan et al. (2015) Nature Geoscience

This is one in a series of poems written by Katherine Allen, a researcher in geochemistry and paleoclimate at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University.

Science for the Planet: In these short video explainers, discover how scientists and scholars across the Columbia Climate School are working to understand the effects of climate change and help solve the crisis.
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