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Snow Falls in Sahara Desert for the Second Time in Human History

Dec 21, 2016 10:01 AM EST
Sahara Desert
Some 6,000 years ago, the Sahara Desert was a grassland.
(Photo : David McNew/Getty Images)

Snow falls in the hottest region on Earth for the second time in living memory. Although the Sahara Desert has been recorded to be more moist than it currently is, this is still the first time in the last three decades that snow has been seen falling in the region. 

A report from the Express UK showed that the last time snow was seen falling on the Sahara happened in February of 1979 and the snow storm lasted for just half an hour. This year, the snow has created a good looking contrast to the red-hot sand dunes of the Sahara which created a social media frenzy. A day later, the snow did not survive the heat and quickly melted away.

Mirror UK has reported that not all regions of the Sahara experienced snow fall. The largest area that experienced the 30-minute snowfall was only Ain Sefra, or also known as the Gateway to the Desert. This is also where the snowfall of 1979 has been recorded.

For the past thousand years, the Sahara desert has played an important role in climate change. It has been reported that the transfer of sand from the Sahara desert to different parts of the world create significant temperature changes to oceans.

There are a number of summits in the Sahara the receive snow on a regular basis. A report from Live Science noted that snowfall in deserts is extremely rare, nonetheless. Scientists don't know when the next snowfall would be and are still finding explanations as to how snow fell in the Sahara Desert.

According to reports, it used to be much wetter and contained more vegetation before it turned into the world's largest hot desert. Will this snowfall be one of the indications that the Sahara may go back to its old climate and humans must be more prepared to combat climate change?

 

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