Lush fertile acreage becomes Desert Wasteland
Over 6,000 years ago, nearly all of the territory now known as the Sahara Desert teemed with fruitful green vegetation, forests, wild life, and lakes filled with many fish. Today the question is: What caused such a large area to experience climate changes severe enough to generate the great Sahara Desert over time?
With technology and scientific information, we can determine what our planet was like six-thousand years in the past. Studies of the North African region reveal evidence of an ongoing drought and we can calculate back to its beginning by measuring the desert’s rate of succession. Astronomically, we can rewind the bodies in the heavens to find out what events, if any, occurred at the time.
One explanation for the drought involves the earth’s spin on its axis as it travels around the sun. Today the earth’s tilt is 23 degrees from zero. A minute and constant change in that angle causes very slow changes in climate on the surface of the earth. Unfortunately, North Africa sets in a location where this change is most obvious. You might say the movement of the earth causes the draught in North Africa which, in turn, slowly increases the Sahara Desert.
An alternative theory of what triggered the slow climate transformation of North Africa comes from the heavens. Some astronomers believe an asteroid, one and a quarter miles wide, created a huge fireball as it entered the earth’s atmosphere with a tail hundreds of miles long. As it passed over the Austrian Alps, it burst with a tremendous explosion several hundred feet high over Northern Europe and caused sudden changes in the earth’s weather patterns in several areas of the globe, including North Africa.
Whatever caused much of North Africa to transform from a lush fertile area into the desert wasteland as we know it today, the people and their cultures also changed through the centuries. One character in The Black Angel of the Lord, Ramtouses, was born into an African culture that slowly changed over time with the climate.