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It has been assumed that global warming would cause an expansion of the world's deserts, but now some scientists are predicting a contrary scenario in which water and life slowly reclaim these arid places.
They think vast, dry regions like the Sahara might soon begin shrinking.
The evidence is limited and definitive conclusions are impossible to reach but recent satellite pictures of North Africa seem to show areas of the Sahara in retreat.
It could be that an increase in rainfall has caused this effect.