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The Sahara desert | Ecosystems

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the Sahara Desert located on the African

continent is the largest hot desert in

the world

the enormous Sahara spans over 11

countries including Algeria Egypt Libya

Mali and Niger it covers over 9.2

million square kilometres roughly the

size of the United States of America

amounting to 31% of Africa the chief

landforms of the Sahara Desert include

dunes Hamada regs herbs salt flats and

Oasis the Sahara has only two permanent

rivers the Nile and the Niger

but it has a substantial amount of

aquifers and a handful of lakes the

temperature during the summer months can

exceed 50 degrees Celsius and during the

cold season the average temperature is

approximately 13 degrees Celsius the

central part of the Sahara receives an

average of less than one inch of rain

per year other parts receive an average

of up to four inches of annual rainfall

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but this wasn't always the case

archaeological and geological research

shows that the entire Sahara was once

green this period between eleven

thousand five hundred and five thousand

years is called the African humid period

oldest rock hearts that are eight

thousand years old show a time when

Sahara was much greener and wetter than

today

despite the harsh arid conditions of the

present time several plants like dune

palm tree Ella Perrins olive tree peyote

cactus love grass and animals like

dromedary camels Dorcas gazelle Saharan

horned Viper ostrich monitor lizard and

Deathstalker scorpion call the region

home Sahara's entire human population

equals less than 2 million these people

are mostly nomads

did you know that the Amazon rainforest

depends on the Sahara for it's very

survival the Sahara sand gets carried by

the wind power crosses the Atlantic

Ocean and gets deposited in South

America the sand particles pick up

moisture during their journey and bring

rain along with them this rain and dust

fall on the Amazon rainforest

fertilizing it with phosphorus and

providing the water that it needs

without Sahara the Amazon rainforest

could be potentially destroyed due to

climate change

the Sahara Desert has grown nearly 10

percent since 1920 approximately one

third of the deserts expansion was due

to human-made climate change the UN Food

and Agriculture Organization estimates

that by 2030 Africa will lose two-thirds

of its arable land

if the March of desertification has not

stopped