Sahara Desert Used to be a Grassland 4,000 Years Ago Till a Megadrought Happened, Finds Study

Image for represebtation. Source: Canva

Image for represebtation. Source: Canva

The end of the ‘Green Sahara’, also known as the ‘African Humid Period’, was a result of a megadrought that destroyed parts of Southeast Asia for around 1,000 years.

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  • Last Updated: August 23, 2020, 9:31 AM IST

The barren land of Sahara has not been deserted forever, as we see it today. In fact, it is believed that the African area was a lush grassland around 4000 years ago. For years, researchers and scientists have been searching for the reason that led to a massive change in the topography, changing the green grass into barren desert.

According to the latest study conducted by a professor at the University of California, Irvine, the end of the ‘Green Sahara’, also known as the ‘African Humid Period’, was a result of a megadrought that destroyed parts of Southeast Asia for around 1,000 years.

Professor and earth scientist Kathleen Johnson said in her study, “We provide the first proof for a strong link between the end of the Green Sahara and Southeast Asian monsoon failure during the mid- to late Holocene period.”

Her study, titled “End of Green Sahara amplified mid- to late Holocene megadroughts in mainland Southeast Asia” has been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

The connection between the end of Green Sahara and the megadrought in SE Asia was established after the team found some important physical evidence in caves in Laos. The major climate change resulted in the migration of large human settlement patterns in Southeast Asia, leading to the show death of vegetation in the Sahara.

“This is an outstanding evidence for the type of climate change that must have affected society, what plants were available, what animals were available,” added co-author Joyce White, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

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