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The vast Sahara Desert is getting even bigger

The Sahara Desert covers an area of northern Africa larger than the lower 48 United States. And it’s growing even bigger.

Over the past century, rainfall levels have decreased along the southern edge of the Sahara. So some areas that were once semi-arid grassland have become desert.

Nigam: “The desert has expanded southward during summer by about ten percent, so it’s a fairly significant increase in the desert expanse over this 93-year period that we analyzed.”

Sumant Nigam is a professor at the University of Maryland. He says decreasing rainfall is likely a result of both natural cycles and human-caused global warming.

And he says it’s a big concern in the summer months.

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