Drought in the Sahara: A Biogeophysical Feedback Mechanism

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Science  07 Feb 1975:
Vol. 187, Issue 4175, pp. 434-435
DOI: 10.1126/science.187.4175.434


Two integrations of a global general circulation model, differing only in the prescribed surface albedo in the Sahara, show that an increase in albedo resulting from a decrease in plant cover causes a decrease in rainfall. Thus any tendency for plant cover to decrease would be reinforced by a decrease in rainfall, and could initiate or perpetuate a drought.