Scientists have discovered that the key factor in the cumulative rainfall in Africa is due to greenhouses gases. The greenhouse gases are responsible even for the increase in temperature all over the planet, including the African Humid Period.
During this African Humid Period the amount of rainfall increased exponentially, starting about 15.000 years ago and continuing until around 5000 years ago. The rainfall was so intense, that it turned the desert into grassland and savanna.
Scientists were intrigued by the fact that the precipitations started simultaneously in the north and south regions of the equator.
When the ice age has ended, and the ice began to melt, gases such as methane and carbon dioxide experienced increases in the atmosphere, almost to industrial levels. As the global warming continued to melt the ice on our planet’s surface, the influx of fresh water weakened the flux of the Atlantic Ocean, that brought warm water from the tropics and kept Europe temperate.
The current of the Atlantic Ocean kept getting weaker, thus precipitation started moving to the southern part of Africa, suppressing the rainfall over the region during the dry period.
When the ice stopped melting and the circulation of current in the Atlantic strengthened precipitations over the African region have returned. This phenomenon together with the orbital shift of our planet and the gases,accumulated in the atmosphere worked towards creating the African Humid Period.
Experts also say that the planet has suffered many changes regarding its climate due to pollution, making humans the primary cause. Both vehicle and industry pollution have already had a huge impact on our planet’s ecosystem and environment.
A co-author of this study stated that their findings revealed what our planet and civilization may face in the future. Also, scientists have discovered that greenhouse gases had a serious impact over the African Humid Period, and this study will help determinate how rising gas concentrations may influence rainfall patterns in more vulnerable or highly populated parts of the world.