Home » Maths for Planet Earth » The Swelling Sahara

The Swelling Sahara


Human-induced global warming is causing deserts such as the Sahara to increase in surface area.

In 1950 the area of the Sahara Desert was 9,200,000 km2, whereas in 2000 the area of the Sahara Desert had increased to 9,930,000 km2 due to human-induced global warming.

A model could be used to relate the surface area of the Sahara Desert, S km2, to the time, t, in years since 1950.

a) By first forming an exponential model for the surface area of the Sahara Desert relating S and t, show that the increase in the surface area of the Sahara Desert is approximately 0.15% per year.

[5 marks]

b) Use the model formed in (a) to estimate the size of the Sahara Desert in 2050. Give your answer in km2 to 3 s.f.

[1 mark]

Start exploring

Latest from blog

More Maths for Planet Earth

A Level
3 CO₂ monitors K, L and M are placed on a mountain side The vector (overrightarrow{text{KL}} = 3mathbf{i -}6mathbf{k}) and (overrightarrow{text{LM}} = 2mathbf{i} +
A Level
A scientist wishes to develop a new way of generating renewable energy. They decide to use a large magnet on a large spring, oscillating
A Level
2 weather-monitoring satellites orbit the earth. One is in a circular orbit C₁, the other orbits in an extreme ellipse, C₂ so that it can
A Level
15 cities, each of varying sizes, decide to have carbon-neutral public transport systems. When the cities are arranged in size order from smallest to