Satellites show changing rainfall.

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Satellite mapping technology studying rainfall and the greenness of plants has revealed the dramatic impact of climate change on the African continent--but in unexpected ways.

"In different regions in Africa we have trends going in different directions," says Professor Heiko Balzter, Director of the Centre for Landscape and Climate Reach at the University of Leicester, UK, who processed the data.

"In some areas of Africa there has been a decrease in rainfall in the last 10 years and in some there has been an increase. That sometimes corresponds with the greening up of the region, the vegetation, but sometimes it is the opposite trend despite more rainfall the vegetation is not doing so well."

The study shows that areas of the Congo, Nigeria and Madagascar receive far less rainfall now. "In the Congo basin (above), we found a decrease in rainfall and reports that shipping on the major rivers is now more complicated. Rivers are only passable by big transport when the...

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