The World 's Largest Hot Dry Land Desert

1372 Words Apr 26th, 2015 6 Pages
At about 3.6 million square mile, the Sahara Desert, located across North Africa, is the world’s largest hot dry land desert. It was not until the early 1960’s that the impact of the dry land received attention. Known as the Sahel, the region was previously known for its wet arable land. Present day, the Sahel has taken the form of a semi-arid dry land that expands over eleven African states: Egypt, Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, Chad, Sudan, Niger, Tunisia, Morocco, and Western Sahara. Desertification, or arable land degradation, has occurred in the Sahel over the past ten thousand years, dating back to the ice age. During the Pre-Classical era many ancient civilizations found home at the Nile River Valley. Plentiful monsoon rains permeated the Sahel, but water on the surface of the Sahel has decreased significantly as desertification has inversely increased, leaving only unreachable underground water reservoirs. Stress is put on the Sahel region from services: agriculture, forage, energy, raw materials, etc. Gradually over time the carbon build up in the atmosphere has caused increased water vapor instead of it being recycled into rainwater. Without rain water plants, or autotrophs, cannot perform adequate photosynthesis and carbon fixation, thus carbon build up continues to occur further trapping carbon in the atmosphere and increasing global climate.
Stefan Kröpelin, a German archaeologist, studied the vast reaches of the Sahara during the late 20th century. For decades he…

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