A little drier every day

The climate of the Sahara Desert shifted much more slowly than once thought

By Sid Perkins, 13:11 PM May 8, 2008

The Sahara didn’t become one of the hottest and driest regions on Earth in a hurry. In fact, the climate shift that made the desert so arid took many centuries — a finding that contradicts previous studies that hint at a relatively sudden drying. The new study could affect how scientists refine models of climate change.

About 14,500 years ago, a few millennia before the end of the last ice age, shifting weather patterns ushered in a wet spell — often called the African Humid Per...

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