The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert and third largest desert in the world with a combined area of about 9.5 million square kilometers (Sahara, n.d.). The desert features harsh, extreme weather conditions ranging (extreme hottest to extreme coldness) from 50 degrees to -1 degrees Celsius (Northern Africa, n.d.). Due to these extreme conditions, only certain animals are able to inhabit the desert such as monitor lizards, scorpions, camels, addax antelopes and so on (Sahara, n.d.). This and many more factors give the Sahara its unique ecosystem. The ecosystem in the Sahara Desert is constantly affected by human activities and movement. Things like animals and resources are manipulated as time goes on in the Sahara Desert.
History of the Saharan Desert.
Around 6,000 BC, the Sahara was an area filled with vegetation, an abundance of water, fertile soil, and was inhabited by mostly Egyptians due to the sudden strengthening of monsoonal rains (Sahara Desert, Africa, 2012). However, within 4,000 to 3,000 BC, the climate began to change drastically causing the drying of the Sahara because the monsoonal rains are slowly stopping (Sahara Desert, Africa, 2012). This caused the Sahara region to lose a significant amount of water and vegetation. The ecosystems also changed because species of animals were dying off due to the lack of food and water. Due to the drying, the Sahara is now considered the driest, most infertile area in the world (Tachi, R., & Giron, M., 2012). During the times of the drying, the Sahara was mostly uninhabited but different tribes and countries (Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Greeks) used it as a major trading spot for slaves, livestock, and jewelry (Sahara Desert, Africa, 2012).
Current Impacts of Human Movement .
Although, the Sahara is considered a desert due to its physical attributes, humans have still and are still leaving their marks on ecosystems (Nabi, A., 2012). The majority of human activities occur in areas of the Sahara closest to water (Tachi, R.