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When the Sahara turned to sand

sahara sand desert trees grassland

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 04:52 PM

The Sahara wasn't always a desert. Trees and grasslands dominated the landscape from roughly 10,000 years ago to 5,000 years ago. Then, abruptly, the climate changed, and north Africa began to dry out.

Previous research has suggested that the end of the African Humid Period came gradually, over thousands of years, but a study published last month in Science says it took just a few hundred.

http://phys.org/news...ahara-sand.html

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#2    Doug1o29

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 05:09 PM

The African Wet Period lasted about 400 years.  There's not much room in that time-span for anything to happen "gradually."  I guess whether it was "rapid" or "gradual" depends on how you define "rapid" and "gradual."
Doug

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#3    lightly

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 04:34 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 12 November 2013 - 05:09 PM, said:

The African Wet Period lasted about 400 years.  There's not much room in that time-span for anything to happen "gradually."  I guess whether it was "rapid" or "gradual" depends on how you define "rapid" and "gradual."
Doug

        But the tree and grassland period lasted much longer?    I think there are 8000 yr. old  rock paintings  showing grazing animals ...  mostly antelope , some Bison.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#4    Doug1o29

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:02 PM

View Postlightly, on 13 November 2013 - 04:34 PM, said:

But the tree and grassland period lasted much longer? I think there are 8000 yr. old  rock paintings  showing grazing animals ...  mostly antelope , some Bison.
The Altithermal lasted from about 11,000 BP to around 8200 BP - 3800 years.  The African Wet Period came at the end of the Altithermal.  There followed a serious drought that some anthropologists are telling us provided the impetus for the development of agriculture.  That drought brought down the Akkadian Empire.  Egypt originated at about this time, too.
Doug

Edited by Doug1o29, 13 November 2013 - 08:04 PM.

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott





Also tagged with sahara, sand, desert, trees, grassland

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