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Rising CO2 levels are re-greening Africa's deserts, bringing abundance that lifts people out of poverty

Climate change

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(NaturalNews) Climate change, a phrase that typically instills fear in society, is being eyed by Arizona State University as something that could be beneficial. Contrary to those who view climate change as only having catastrophic consequences, experts from the university suggest that it is responsible for re-greening parts of the world and changing lives for the better.

Experts from the university engaged in a study that ultimately showed that the West African Sahel, the strip south of the Sahara desert, has been "regreening" ever since droughts in the 1970s and 80s killed more than 100,000 people. They maintain that increased rainfall caused by climate change has led to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which has spurred more plant growth and community-led farming efforts.

The region is turning around and experiencing a vast change from the drought and deaths that once plagued it. The area is greening, plants are growing, and people are coming together. These changes bring improvements in the physical and emotional well-being of the region's inhabitants, which can ultimately bolster relationships and reverse poverty levels.

Despite positive outcomes from climate change, fears persist

The journal that published this information, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), states that "...long-term satellite-derived greenness sensitivity to rainfall" was analyzed to better understand "...changing vegetation structure in different regions of the Sahel."

According to the paper, "Our results show that remotely sensed vegetation greenness...has increased across the Sahel since the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s, consistent with increasing rainfall and earlier analyses." The report was titled, "On regreening and degradation in Sahelian watersheds."

Unfortunately, there are some people cling tightly to negative views about change of any kind, and climate change is no different. The alarmist web site DeSmog is one such outlet, and it is said to have jumped on Arizona State University's Sahel findings. They vehemently stated that, "The greening is unreliable. It is thus hardly an encouraging example of a 'positive impact' from global warming."

Perhaps in anticipation of naysayer attitudes like that of DeSmog, the PNAS paper states:

Meanwhile, in the popular press and often in the environmental and development literature, the reports of recovery are sometimes forgotten to the extent that popular opinion in the West - and indeed very often in Africa - holds fast to pessimistic images of overgrazing, degradation, sand storms, and sand-dunes "marching" south from the Sahara towards the sea. The differences in perception of recent changes highlight the need to quantify the extent of recovery (or otherwise) in Sahelian systems since the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s and the extent to which vegetation changes in the Sahel respond proportionally to climate variations.

Embrace change rather than resist it

Without a doubt, climate change is occurring.

In fact, at a 2014 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) conference attended by about 1,000 climate experts in Canada, there was much talk of significant climate changes that could be experienced by 2050. Gigantic waves, increased in-flight air turbulence, flash flooding, dramatic temperature surges, and superstorms are expected to become more commonplace. We've seen it already; areas that haven't seen snow in many years - if ever - have suddenly been blanketed by it. Other regions are dealing with extreme cold or heat. The changes continue, and we must learn to change along with them.

Rather than adopting a fearful attitude, it might be best for society to focus on moving forward. Perhaps making an effort to work smarter and in tandem with climate changes instead of resisting them would improve life on the planet.

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