Global Warming Benefiting Africa’s Sahel Region

Global Warming Benefiting Africa’s Sahel Region
December 15, 2011

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute.... (read full bio)

Climate Change Weekly #31

Global warming activists are sounding four-alarm fire bells over a new study claiming global warming is causing drought and killing trees in the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa. Much like previous global warming claims that have fallen by the wayside, the claim that global warming is devastating the Sahel is unlikely to stand the dual tests of time and scientific scrutiny.

According to the new study, a rise in temperatures and a decline in precipitation during the twentieth century reduced tree densities in the Sahel by approximately 18 percent from 1954 through 2002. Lead author Patrick Gonzalez says in a press release accompanying the study, “Rainfall in the Sahel has dropped 20–30 percent in the 20th century …”

Scientific evidence and observational reports from the Sahel, however, have documented a greening of the Sahel and a retreat of the southern Sahara Desert in recent decades. In my weekly column, I present summaries and links to these data and studies and document Patrick Gonzalez’s environmental activist connections and lack of objectivity.



Canada withdraws from Kyoto … Police raid seeks Climategate ‘Deepthroat’ … Obama administration pursues Climategate leaker … Bastardi writes compelling summary of skeptical science … U.N. climate fund encourages Third World poverty … IPCC whitewashes albedo error … ClimateWiki update


Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent has announced Canada is withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol. Kent pointed out Kyoto now applies to only 13 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions and forces Canadians to endure painful economic consequences “with no impact on emissions or the environment.”

SOURCE: Macleans


British police raided the home of a climate blogger who they suspected might be involved in leaking Climategate emails to the public. Arriving unannounced, the police confiscated the blogger’s computers and router. Joanne Nova comments on the raid and links to the blogger’s report of the police raid on his home.



The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Criminal Division, is working with United Kingdom police to pursue the leaker of the 2009 and 2011 “Climategate” emails, reports Washington, DC attorney Christopher Horner. DOJ has sent a preservation letter to Web site host Wordpress directing it to preserve all records of a specific account for 90 days while the DOJ works to obtain a search warrant.

SOURCE: Washington Examiner


Meteorologist Joe Bastardi has written a concise, compelling summary of why he and other scientists are skeptical of alarmist global warming claims. In the equivalent of approximately 10 pages of single-spaced MS Word text, Bastardi shows why natural forces are likely driving recent temperature changes and how alarmists doctor temperature data to fit their message.

SOURCE: Firsthand Weather


Leon Louw, executive director of South Africa’s Free Market Institute, explains why the Green Climate Fund proposed in United Nations climate talks in Durban, South Africa would encourage and reward Third World poverty and will be abused and misappropriated by government bureaucracies.

SOURCE: Climate Depot


Researcher Paul Matthews has notified the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of errors in IPCC’s treatment of cloud albedo forcing, yet IPCC refuses to correct the errors.

SOURCE: Climate Etc.


The Heartland Institute has created a Web site,, to help everyone –- from high school students to scientists working in the field – quickly find the latest and most reliable information on climate science. Please send your questions, suggestions for new pages, or improvements to current ones to John Monaghan at And if you have new research to share, is the perfect place.

An example from ClimateWiki, Greening of the Earth, reads in part:

Alcaraz-Segura et al. (2008) employed satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data to “evaluate the impact of global environmental change on terrestrial ecosystem functioning of [Spain’s] national parks,” which provides a sound basis for determining what is to be expected throughout much of Europe. The researchers report, “most parks showed areas with positive NDVI trends that tended to have higher proportions of Mediterranean coniferous and mixed forests, oro-Mediterranean scrublands, heathlands, maquis and garrigues.” Thus, they conclude, in terms of vegetation greenness, forests are changing in a directional way such that “a large part of the Spanish National Parks is intercepting more photosynthetically active radiation than in the past.”

If you have questions about the ClimateWiki or about The Heartland Institute, contact Jim Lakely, director of communications, at or call 312/377-4000.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute.... (read full bio)