Is climate change the culprit?
For the second time in less than a month, parts of the Sahara Desert were covered by a snow blanket, and this is only the fourth time in nearly forty years, which according to experts is worrying.
In January of 2018, we published an article about the city of Aïn Séfra, the so-called “door to the Sahara Desert”, and how its inhabitants were surprised after a few inches of snow covered the surrounding area.
Photographers took advantage of the situation and started recording the unusual event, snapping stunning images of the Sahara Desert covered in snow.
Surprised by the phenomenon, the inhabitants of Aïn Séfra made sure to record the event.
As noted by the Daily Mail, children could be seen playing on the snow-covered sand dunes just outside the town, while others posed on the snow to document the rare event.
Now, for a second time in less than a month, snow has returned to the Sahara, and the result is another batch of stunning images.
However, while the images are stunning, the snowfall has given scientists a lot to think about, raising questions whether global warming is to be blamed?
Aïn Séfra is located at a thousand meters above sea level and averages a temperature at the beginning of the year of 12.4 degrees Celsius.
In addition, note experts, it is not precisely an area of great rainfall, Aïn Séfra has an annual average of 169 mm of water per square meter, which is well below the mark that meteorologists establish to qualify a place as a desert depending on its rainfall.
Therefore, the fact that it’s snowing is really an alien phenomenon.
In fact, the number of times a similar scenario has been recorded in the area is very small.
The first-time snow was registered was in 1979, almost four decades ago, the second time was in December 2016 while the third snowfall was recorded in January, and now the fourth.
Despite the fact that the images are beautiful, it also is worrying.
The Sahara Desert is an everchanging place.
The massive Desert covers most of Northern Africa and has gone through a number of shifts in temperature and moisture over the past few hundred thousand years.
Although the Sahara is very dry today, researchers argue that it is expected to become green again in some 15,000 years.
Featured image credit: Zineddine Hashas/Geoff Robinson