Monday, October 12, 2015

The Fate of the Horn of Africa

A new study conducted by University of Arizona (UA) researchers has found that the continued warming of the Earth's climate has turned the Horn of Africa, long considered to be the cradle of early human life, into an increasingly arid region at an unprecedented rate. This African region has also experienced catastrophic droughts every few years over the past several decades.

According to the scientists, if the planet continues to become warmer, the eastern part of the Horn of Africa, which covers the countries of Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia, will also continue to receive lessening amounts of rainfall during the traditional "long rains" season in the region, from March until May. Such a negative trend could result in the exacerbation of tensions in some of the world's most geopolitically unstable nations.

In a previous study, Tierney and fellow researcher Peter deMenocal revealed that the Sahara desert, which was once teeming with vegetation because of regular rainfall, suddenly dried out in just one to two centuries around 5,000 years ago. The findings of the UA scientists show that shifts in climates can occur suddenly.

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