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Sahara's Abrupt Desertification Started By Changes In Earth's Orbit, Accelerated By Atmospheric And Vegetation Feedbacks

Date:
July 12, 1999
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
German scientists, employing a new climate system model, have concluded that desertification of the Saharan and Arabia regions was initiated by subtle changes in the Earth's orbit and strongly amplified by resulting atmospheric and vegetation feedbacks in the subtropics. The timing of this transition was, they report, mainly governed by a global interplay among atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and vegetation.

WASHINGTON -- One of the most striking climate changes of the past 11,000 years caused the abrupt desertification of the Saharan and Arabia regions midway through that period. The resulting loss of the Sahara to agricultural pursuits may be an important reason that civilizations were founded along the valleys of the Nile, the Tigris, and the Euphrates. German scientists, employing a new climate system model, have concluded that this desertification was initiated by subtle changes in the Earth's orbit and strongly amplified by resulting atmospheric and vegetation feedbacks in the subtropics. The timing of this transition was, they report, mainly governed by a global interplay among atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and vegetation. Their research is published in the July 15 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.


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American Geophysical Union. "Sahara's Abrupt Desertification Started By Changes In Earth's Orbit, Accelerated By Atmospheric And Vegetation Feedbacks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990712080500.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (1999, July 12). Sahara's Abrupt Desertification Started By Changes In Earth's Orbit, Accelerated By Atmospheric And Vegetation Feedbacks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990712080500.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Sahara's Abrupt Desertification Started By Changes In Earth's Orbit, Accelerated By Atmospheric And Vegetation Feedbacks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990712080500.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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