NOAA: Africa to become drier this century

Nov 30, 2005

A recent U.S. study reportedly predicts global warming will result in Africa's dry regions becoming even drier in the near future.

Computer models of global climate change indicate the Sahel region and southern Africa will become substantially drier this century, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Sahel Africa is the region stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the African "Horn," an area that includes the nations of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia. The southern border of the region is the Sahara Dessert.

Sahel rainfall declined sharply during the late 20th century, with droughts responsible for several million deaths.

"Our model predicts an extremely dry Sahel in the future," said Isaac Held, a senior research scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"If we compare it against the drought in the 1970s and '80s, the late 21st century looks even drier -- a 30-percent reduction in rainfall from the average for the last century," he told BBC News.

Sahel rainfall fell dramatically during the second half of the 20th century and; since 1970, about half of the region has been in severe drought.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP Satellite team ward off recent space debris threat

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What do wildfires have to do with climate change?

Oct 14, 2014

As the western U.S. faces its third year of severe drought, firefighters are still battling two large fires in California. The state, which is experiencing its worst drought since record keeping began in ...

Projections for climate change in Vermont

Sep 15, 2014

Here's your northern Vermont forecast for the rest of this century: Annual precipitation will increase by between a third and half an inch per decade, while average temperatures will rise some five degrees ...

Pacific Northwest shows warming trend over past century-plus

Sep 03, 2014

The annual mean temperature in the Pacific Northwest has warmed by about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit since the early 20th century – a gradual warming trend that has been accelerating over the past 3-4 decades and is attributed ...

Recommended for you

'Twisted rope' clue to dangerous solar storms

12 hours ago

A "twisted rope" of magnetically-charged energy precedes solar storms that have the potential to damage satellites and electricity grids, French scientists said on Wednesday.

User comments : 0