The Sahara desert's climate changes every 20,000 years
A new study by MIT shows that the Sahara desert changes from a dry climate to a wet climate every 20,000 years.
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS — A new study by MIT researchers suggests that the Sahara desert may have once flourished with nature.
Their analysis of marine sediment from the West African coast suggests that the Sahara's climate alters between dry and wet every 20,000 years. The researchers believe this "climatic pendulum" is caused by changes to Earth's axis as it rotates around the sun.
This in turn affects the amount of sunlight the Earth receives during different seasons.
As the planet tilts to receive maximum sunlight, it intensifies periods of monsoon rain which results in a "greener" Sahara. When the Earth tilts toward an angle that doesn't allow it to receive as much sunlight, the Sahara gets a more arid climate.
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