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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Is the Sahara Desert Advancing?

On the contrary, it's greening

As the hype volume goes into Everest territory at the big climate summit in Paris, we’ll be a bit more succinct and just point out the Whopper of the Day.

Here’s France’s president conferring with African leaders, who told him of the expansion of the Sahara Desert. To wit, from today’s Associated Press story:

Hollande heard from 12 African leaders who described the Sahara Desert encroaching on farmland…

Below is the change in planetary greening measured by satellite over the last 2+ decades. As you can see, the southern side of the Sahara is getting much greener over time (the northern boundary is the Mediterranean Sea).

In fact, that’s the largest “greening” on the entire planet earth! What a whopper Hollande was told in Paris!


Figure 1. Spatial trends in net primary plant productivity, 1981-2006. Source: de Jong, et al., 2011, Remote Sensing of the Environment.

Cross-posted from