A recent greening of the Sahel - Trends, patterns and potential causes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


For the last four decades there has been sustained scientific interest in contemporary environmental change in the Sahel (the southern fringe of the Sahara). It suffered several devastating droughts and famines between the late 1960s and early 1990s. Speculation about the climatology of these droughts is unresolved, as is speculation about the effects of land clearance on rainfall and about land degradation in this zone. However, recent findings suggest a consistent trend of increasing vegetation greenness in much of the region. Increasing rainfall over the last few years is certainly one reason, but does not fully explain the change. Other factors, such as land use change and migration, may also contribute. This study investigates the nature of a secular vegetation trend across the Sahel and discusses several potential causative factors.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Geography


  • remote sensing, desertification, vegetation change, sahel, migration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-566
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch