A very dry climate which prevailed during the last glacial maximum of the Pleistocene from India to the Sahara, was replaced by variable weather conditions with alternating more or less humid phases, starting from the Pleistocene-Holocene transition period and lasting up to about 3000 years ago, when present arid conditions set in. A particularly wet phase is recognized throughout the region some 5000 years ago. Phase shifts within the region and in particular changes in rain distribution patterns, are interpreted as due to shifting spheres of influence of the monsoonal circulation, of Atlantic depressions and moisture originating from the Mediterranean Sea. The condition of the Mediterranean Sea itself, which is influenced by runoff and melt waters from the European Continent and by the Nile floods, as well as by the eustatic sea-level changes, is not a good indicator of local climate conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics