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Monday, August 20, 2018

6,000 Years Ago Sahara Was A Lot Greener

sahara, steppe, savana

Based on a research that was advertised by the Science Advances journal, the proof shows that humans inhabited the majority of the Sahara during the "wet period" 8,000 years ago.

As a result of a study of the marine deposits, the researchers from the University of Arizona was able to identify the rainfall patterns in the Sahara beyond the period of the past 6,000 years getting an amazing outcome. The team that was from the University of Arizona who led the team was able to describe the climate pattern that created a "Green Sahara" within 5,000 to 11,000 years ago. They were also able to tell that it had 10 times more rainfall than today.

Turns out that the Sahara desert today was the home of the hunters and gatherers who survived off the animals and plants that were existing in the region and of the forested prairies in between 5,000 and 11,000 years ago.

Jessica Tierney was the lead author from the University of Arizona told that it was 10 times as wet as today. Today, the average rainfall per year ranges from around 4 inches to less than an inch or 100 mm to 35 mm.

Though other researchers have proven the existence of the 'Green Sahara" before, Tierney and her team were able to achieve and compile a constant record of rainfall in the area that occurred 25,000 years ago.

sahara, steppe, savana, tropical

Intriguingly, the archeological proof shows that humans live at the majority of the Sahara during that time but slowly departed some 8,000 years ago.

Some other researchers have also claimed that the Sahara started to dry up by the time the people started leaving the region, but the proof was insufficient as told by Tierney being the assistant professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona.

Based on a new research, rainfall records compiled by the team revealed that a period that lasted for a millennium to 8,000 years ago, in which the Sahara became drier which at the same time when the people left.

Tierney also said that this thousand-year dry period provoked the people to leave.

“It looks like this thousand-year dry period caused people to leave,” Tierney said.

sahara desert

She also added that the people who came back after the dry period were different and most bred cattle. That dry period splits 2 distinct cultures. Their records supplied a climate context for this shift in work and style of living in the western part of the Sahara.

Based on the news from the University of Arizona, rather than a lake of sediments Tierney together with her team used cores of marine deposits that were taken from the coast of West Africa from 4 other distinct sites. Due to the cores were taken from the north-south distance that is about 800 miles or 1,300 km from the shore of Cape Ghir in Morocco to the northwestern corner of Mauritania. The cores showed both of the ancient rainfall patterns and the regional range of the Green Sahara.

Written by Adjie Perez, Lucis Philippines contributor.
Image: Chris Cooper, Luca Galuzzi, NOAA

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