Greening The Sahara Desert Will Result In More Tropical Cyclone

By Menahem, Zen | Jun 12, 2017 07:47 PM EDT
The rising sun illuminates the Algodones Dunes, also known as the Imperial Dunes or American Sahara.

An alarmed climate effect of the re-greening the southernmost part of Sahara has been warned by the researchers at Stockholm University. In their recent study, the scientists have found that the greening of Sahara desert, particularly the area which is known as Sahel reduced the dust emission that leads the increase of tropical cyclone worldwide.

Researchers from the Department of Meteorology at the Stockholm University have discovered this alarming effect after studying the model of simulations in the greening of Sahara desert. From the simulation, they found that during the Geological epoch of Holocene when Sahara desert was full of grass has led to the much stronger summer insolation in the Northern Hemisphere that led to stronger monsoons.

The researchers have also published their research regarding the increase of tropical cyclone as a result from the greening of Sahara desert in the scientific journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The lead author of the paper, titled "Tropical Cyclone Activity Enhanced By Sahara Greening And Reduced Dust Emissions During The African Humid Period" is a research scientist at the Stockholm University, Francesco S.R. Pausata.

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"A greening of the Sahara with reduced dust loadings lead to more favorable conditions for tropical cyclone development," Pausata said about their finding on the greening of Sahara desert. "Changes in land cover should be represented in climate models for projections of future climate.”

Currently, the greening of Sahara desert project started in 2012 as a pilot project in Qatar called Sahara Forest Project, initiated by the Qatar Sheik, to re-green the uninhabited area of the desert. The project was extended two years later with a full-scale Sahara Forest Project in Jordan, and the pilot project in Qatar was dismantled in 2016.

This last finding from the Stockholm University shows the greening of Sahara desert has full potential to worsen the climate change. The re-green of the desert will lead to the increase of humidity in the desert, that will trigger a change of atmospheric circulation in the tropics.

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