Rainfall in parts of Africa may increase along with rising greenhouse-gas emissions, according to a report in the journal Science.
Intense rainfall beginning about 14,700 years ago and ending 5,000 years ago in the Sahara and Sahel regions coincided with high levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the study said. It’s the first time scientists have used climate models to pinpoint a major cause of what came to be called the African Humid Period, said Bette Otto-Bliesner, one of the study’s authors and a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
“The fact that the model gets it right and that we can explain it, that gives us confidence that the model can tell us about future patterns of rainfall in the region,” she said yesterday in a phone interview. “It was the rise of greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide and methane, in the atmosphere that gave that region a common signal.”
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SOURCE: Bloomberg Businessweek