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: The source of the sky's X-ray glow

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

2 hours ago

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the ...

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

4 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

5 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

5 hours ago

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

Recommended for you

The source of the sky's X-ray glow

18 hours ago

In findings that help astrophysicists understand our corner of the galaxy, an international research team has shown that the soft X-ray glow blanketing the sky comes from both inside and outside the solar system.

End dawns for Europe's space cargo delivery role

Jul 27, 2014

Europe will close an important chapter in its space flight history Tuesday, launching the fifth and final robot ship it had pledged for lifeline deliveries to the International Space Station.

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

Jul 26, 2014

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

Jul 26, 2014

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

Jul 25, 2014

For the first time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water and is left to dry, b ...

How do we terraform Venus?

Jul 25, 2014

It might be possible to terraform Venus some day, when our technology gets good enough. The challenges for Venus are totally different than for Mars. How will we need to fix Venus?

User comments : 0