New Study Confirms GWPF Report On Greening Sahel

Sahel Region of AfricaClimate change has achieved what Bob Geldof and Live Aid failed to do by ending the drought in the Sahel region of Africa that killed more than 100,000 people in the 1980s, a study has found. Rising greenhouse gases caused rains to return to the region south of the Sahara, from Senegal to Sudan, boosting crop yields since the 1990s and helping the population to feed itself without relying on foreign donations. The study, in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that Sahel summer rainfall was about 10 per cent, or 0.3mm, higher per day in 1996-2011 than in the drought period of 1964-93. –Ben Webster, The Times, 2 June 2015

In spite of the gloomy predictions of even more frequent and severe droughts and famines caused by global warming, vegetation in the Sahel has significantly increased in the last three decades. This has been a very welcome and very beneficial development for the people living in the Sahel. The increase in rainfall, which was probably caused by rising temperatures and rising CO2 concentrations might even – if sustained for a few more decades – green the Sahara. This would be a truly tremendous prospect. –Philipp Mueller, Global Warming Policy Foundation, 12 August 2011

The people living in the Sahel were suffering from several devastating droughts and famines between the late 1960s and the early 1990s. The draughts were triggered by decreases in rainfall from the early 1950s to the mid-1980s. Global warming was supposed to increase the frequency and severity of the droughts, which would make crop-growing unviable and cause even worse famines. According to the United Nations, the outlook for the people in the Sahel was bleak. However in sharp contrast to this gloomy outlook, it seems that global warming has exactly the opposite effect on the Sahara and the Sahel. The Sahara is actually shrinking, with vegetation arising on land where there was nothing but sand and rocks before. The main reason for the greening of the Sahara and the Sahel has been an increase in rainfall since the mid-1980s. –Philipp Mueller, Global Warming Policy Foundation, 12 August 2011

The Sahel has a delicate climate and research shows that increased human emissions were more likely the cause of the initial drought rather than the cause of the re-greening. It is wild speculation to assert that any recovery in the Sahel is a result of global warming… M.A. Rogers, Desmog 9 March 2012

Trees are dying in the Sahel, a region in Africa south of the Sahara Desert, and human-caused climate change is to blame, according to a new study led by a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. “Rainfall in the Sahel has dropped 20-30 percent in the 20th century, the world’s most severe long-term drought since measurements from rainfall gauges began in the mid-1800s,” said study lead author Patrick Gonzalez, who conducted the study while he was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for Forestry. “Previous research already established climate change as the primary cause of the drought, which has overwhelmed the resilience of the trees.” —University of California, Berkeley, 12 December 2011

One of the very first briefing papers issued by GWPF was on the greening of the Sahel. The Foundation’s then deputy director Phillip Mueller put forward the idea that rather than making droughts on the fringes of the Sahara more severe, climate change was actually, if anything, making things better. There was a typically wild-eyed response from those mini-Ehrlichs at DeSmog, which included this shot from the hip: It is wild speculation to assert that any recovery in the Sahel is a result of global warming and to dangle the prospect of a future green Sahara is the exact opposite of the message provided by Mueller’s reference on the matter. However welcome the re-greening of parts of the Sahel, it cannot be relied on. How amusing then to read in the Times that a team of mainstream scientists led by Rowan Sutton are now making just this claim. –Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 2 June 2015

[The Sahel in recent] times is drier than mid-20th century, but not much different from the first part of the century. Rainfall has gone up, and it has gone down, and then back up again. Nor is there any obvious correlation with the general warming of the planet over the same time period. Climate change causes droughts? Interesting theory. Does climate change also cause not-droughts? Conclusions? My only conclusion is that folks are getting desperate for funding, and that the manufacturing of climate pseudo-catastrophes is a booming cottage industry. –Willis Eschenbach, Watts Up With That 13 December 2011

The former BBC newsreader Martyn Lewis has spent 20 years campaigning for bulletins to carry more good news and less bad. Could we make him chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)? His first job could be to flag up a University of Reading paper in the journal Nature Climate Change this week which finds that emissions of greenhouse gases have actually helped the Sahel region, south of the Sahara, to recover from drought. This is not how things are supposed to be according to the popular narrative of man-made climactic apocalypse. Read only the IPCC’s reports and you would gain the impression that Africa was destined to become a vast dustbowl of dying animals and scorched plains beyond even the ability of Bob Geldof and Live Aid to save. –Ross Clark, The Times, 2 June 2015