Thursday, June 4, 2015

Climate change brings needed rain to Africa

By Maxim Lott | Published June 04, 2015 |

Climate change has been going on since the beginning of time, but has been the source of intense debate in recent years. In the case of the Sahel area of Africa, climate change means 4 more inches of desperately-needed rainfall per year than in the past, according to a new study by climatologists in the Journal Nature Climate Change. The main cause of the increase is rising greenhouse gas emissions, it finds.

The Sahel is an area about four times the size of Texas that stretches across Africa along the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. Past droughts in the area that killed thousands prompted the Live Aid concert in 1985 to fund relief efforts.

Some climate experts say this and other positive effects of CO2 emissions are too often ignored.

“[Benefits are] certainly underreported. Scientists have known for 15 years that the Sahel was greening up and desertification was reversing there,” Pat Michaels, former president of the American Association of State Climatologists, and a director at the CATO Institute, told

He also noted that the Sahel area may be getting more tree and plant coverage due in part to the fact that plants have an easier time growing with more CO2 in the atmosphere...

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