Jan 23, 2019 | Updated: 04:07 PM EST

The Drought In The Horn Of Africa

Oct 19, 2015 01:51 AM EDT


The Horn of Africa has been drying up consistently for the past 2000 years. Aside from the political conflict that has plagued the region for some time now, climate change is also making the situation worse. 

The research was carried out on the marine sediments found in the area. This discovery goes against the presumptions on the effects of global environmental effects through climate change, which assumed that the conflicted region should be getting wetter rather than drying up.

The Horn of Africa is located on the easternmost part of the African continent, including the countries, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, and Djibouti, and has faced geopolitical power struggles for the past 150 years. Jessica Tierney, lead author of the study that was published in Science Advances last Oct. 9, showed that the most drought prone and food scarce place is in danger of facing longer and drier seasons, even with the rainy seasons in March to May and in October.

In comparison with the ancient sediments found, it concluded the underestimation of the rainy season's benefit for the area.  "It changes our view of how greenhouse gases will affect future warming in the Horn, as we had all assumed, myself included, that rising emissions would lead to rainier seasons,"  Tierney stated. Furthermore, she added that this would add up to the number of crises the region has been experiencing.

The study even has to engage and evade with the pirates of the Gulf of Alden in 2001 in order to gather marine sediment cores, but they have not returned there ever since.

Aside from the climate and temperature changes, they also discovered that the rise of the carbon emissions, which they called "the smoking gun," which was the effect of burning of the fossil fuels, also contributed to the drying up of the area for the past 50 years.

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