New research has confirmed that the dry, desolate climate of the Sahara Desert was once a lush tropical climate—an observation that correlates well with the predictions of biblical creationists, a physicist with the Institute for Creation Research says.
A team of international researchers collected and analyzed marine sediments from off the coast of west Africa, looking for clues into Africa’s climatological past. Their findings, published in the journal “Science Advances,” show that northern Africa was at one time much wetter than it is today.
“It was 10 times as wet as today,” said the study’s lead author, Jessica Tierney, in a press release from The University of Arizona.
Tierney and her colleagues found ancient leaf wax samples that reveal what the African climate was like several thousand years ago. The evidence suggests that the Sahara Desert, where annual rainfall now is usually less than five inches, was once lush and green.
“Our precipitation rate estimates confirm the interpretation that a seasonal tropical climate dominated most regions of North Africa during the Green Sahara time,” the researchers wrote in their paper.
“It is therefore feasible that, at the peak of the Green Sahara, monsoonal moisture inundated the entire western Saharan region,” they added.
Although scientists already knew that rainfall rates in ancient Africa were once higher than they are today, most climate model simulations underestimated how widespread the tropical conditions were.