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The Green Sahara: Climate Change, Hydrologic History and Human OccupationArchaeology can provide insight into interactions of climate change and human activities in sensitive areas such as the Sahara, to the benefit of both disciplines. Such analyses can help set bounds on climate change projections, perhaps identify elements of tipping points, and provide constraints on models. The opportunity exists to more precisely constrain the relationship of natural solar and climate interactions, improving understanding of present and future anthropogenic forcing. We are beginning to explore the relationship of human occupation of the Sahara and long-term solar irradiance variations synergetic with changes in atmospheric-ocean circulation patterns. Archaeological and climate records for the last 12 K years are gaining adequate precision to make such comparisons possible. We employ a range of climate records taken over the globe (e.g. Antarctica, Greenland, Cariaco Basin, West African Ocean cores, records from caves) to identify the timing and spatial patterns affecting Saharan climate to compare with archaeological records. We see correlation in changing ocean temperature patterns approx. contemporaneous with drying of the Sahara approx. 6K years BP. The role of radar images and other remote sensing in this work includes providing a geographically comprehensive geomorphic overview of this key area. Such coverage is becoming available from the Japanese PALSAR radar system, which can guide field work to collect archaeological and climatic data to further constrain the climate change chronology and link to models. Our initial remote sensing efforts concentrate on the Gilf Kebir area of Egypt.
Document ID
20150008317
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Blom, Ronald G. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Farr, Tom G. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Feynmann, Joan (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Ruzmaikin, Alexander (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Paillou, Philippe (L'Observatoire Aquitain des Sciences de l'Univers Floirac, France)
Date Acquired
May 18, 2015
Publication Date
May 4, 2009
Subject Category
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Meeting Information
2009 IEEE Radar Conference(Pasadena, CA)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
remote sensing
achaeology