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Ancient Life in the Western Sahara Desert

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Ancient Changes in the Sahara Desert Weather
Map of the Climatic Changes in the Sahara Desert

Map of the Climatic Changes in the Sahara Desert

©2008 National Geographic Maps

Changes in the Sahara Desert weather patterns have been identified by scientists using geochronology and archaeological traces of lake depths and climate change, most recently by high-resolution sediment cores.

In the Ténéré Desert of Niger, scientists believe that today's hyper-arid conditions are similar to what was in place at the end of the Pleistocene, some 16,000 years ago. At that time, sand dunes accumulated across the Sahara. By ca 9700 years ago, however, wet climatic conditions prevailed in the Ténéré Desert, and a large lake grew at the site of Gobero.

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