Sudden Sahara Desert Snowfall Does Not Refute Climate Change

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Sahara 2016

2016 has become quite a year for everyone, and even for the planet Earth itself. The sudden snow in the Sahara Desert may look beautiful, but it does not change the fact that climate change is real.

Snow? In the desert?

The idea is too good to be true, and yet it is the truth! Imagine Amateur photographer Karim Bouchetata’s surprise when he saw that the Sahara Desert had been dusted with snow. Bouchetata lives in Ain Sefra, which is in the northwest part of Algeria and also known as the Gateway to the Sahara. The Sahara desert is also the biggest hot desert in the world, and it is not the place that one would say that has four seasons like the countries in the northern hemisphere.

But to his, and to the whole town’s surprise, they have experienced a snowfall. A place that is covered in various yellow and orange tones becomes speckled with white. According to Bouchetata, he was amazed to see that it was snowing in the desert because it rarely ever happens. The snow stayed there for a day and melted afterward.

Not the First Time

Contrary to what a lot of people might believe, this is not the first time that this particular part of the Sahara experienced a little snowfall. The first time it happened was back in February of 1979 when the town experienced a dusting for 30 minutes. It happened again in 2005, and for the third time in 2012.

While the desert town gets to witness and experience a little snowfall once in a couple of years or so, there has been no record of a major snow storm to hit the place. Although seeing some snow in the desert may look beautiful, it does not disprove climate change.

According to Fordham University professor Steven Stoll, the Sahara having a cold day does not disprove global warming just as much as a heat wave experienced in December. Stoll explains that it is indeed getting warmer elsewhere, and when the heat gets distributed, some places can experience cooler weather. This might explain the light snowfall in the desert.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

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