Vegetation of the Sahara Desert
Among desert areas throughout the Earth, there are two types. The cold type of desert, which is often found in Arctic regions, is an area that gets very little precipitation. The cold desert can be covered in snow, however, and the temperatures here are chilly and unsuitable for sustaining many life forms. The other type of desert is known as the hot desert, and this is what people usually think of when they picture a desert area. This type of desert is extremely warm and dry, with temperatures reaching unbearable levels, and little to no rain to sustain those who live here. The biggest of the hot deserts is the Sahara Desert, located in Africa. Although this desert is not the most hospitable place for organisms to take up residence, the Sahara Desert vegetation defies the odds and thrives here.
Many of the Sahara Desert species in existence today are different than those you would have found in the area during the end of the last ice age. At that time in history, melting ice sheets from the ice age as well as weather patterns which caused monsoon conditions in the region allowed much more vegetation to grow in the Sahara. In around the year 2500 BC, the monsoon conditions retreated to the south, allowing for the desertification of the Sahara region, which returned it to the dry state it was in before the last ice age.
There are still some areas of the Sahara Desert that can be considered lush and green. The Nile Valley, for example, is an area that is still quite full of foliage, trees and other growing things. This area is an exception, because of the way it is fed by the Nile River. Another area of the Sahara that has some vegetation to it is in the North, along the Mediterranean – here, olive trees grow in abundance. The Saharan highlands are also home to species of trees, such as…