Earth  ID: 591

African Vegetation: Comparing September 1984 and September 1994

For many years, scientists have believed that the southern expansion of the Sahara has been due to human activity. However, results from the AVHRR instrument and its measurements of vegetation suggest a different explanation: rainfall patterns. In drier years (1984 was one of the driest summers in recorded history in Northern Africa), the Sahara expands south, but in wetter years (such as 1994), vegetation moves back and there is no net expansion of the Sahara as had been previously suggested.

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Visualization Credits

Jesse Allen (Raytheon): Lead Animator
Compton Tucker (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Sharon Nicholson (Florida State University): Scientist
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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

DLESE >> Climatology
DLESE >> Physical geography
SVS >> Sahara
GCMD >> Location >> Africa
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version