SINCE 1982, GLOBAL WARMING BRINGS 300% INCREASE IN SEVERE STORMS TO AFRICAN SAHEL

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26 april 2017


Huge storms in northern Africa have tripled since the 1980s. Scientists blame climate change.


By Chelsea Harvey, Washington Post, April 26, 2017

Intense storms in northern Africa have tripled in frequency since the 1980s, new research finds. And scientists say rising temperatures in the Sahara — one of the most rapidly warming regions of the world — are the likely culprit.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, examined satellite records of storms in Africa’s Sahel region, a band that stretches across the continent just north of the Sahara from Mauritania to Sudan. Some of the most intense thunderstorms in the world already occur in the western part of the Sahel, the study’s authors note.

Now, the record shows that they’re occurring more and more frequently, and may continue to increase as the climate keeps warming. The study’s authors suggest that climate warming in the desert region just south of the Sahel has caused changes in wind patterns over northern Africa that have affected the formation of these storms.

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