If you cut your forest, the winds will not blow from the ocean and will not bring you rain. Natural forests draw atmospheric moisture inland from the ocean in a positive feedback loop. This builds up precipitation inland, compensating for water lost through river flow and ultimately increasing river runoff due to the sustained low pressure area inland. Forests make rivers.
Much more at bioticregulation.ru
Archived here: Biotic_Pump.pdf
Castles, field systems, cemeteries and irrigation don’t sound like the things you would find in a desert, yet archaeologists exploring the ruins of the Garamantes civilization estimate that it was in existence as recently as 5 to 500 A.D. In one of the most inhospitable parts of the Sahara, there were farms as recently as Roman times!
If, as is commonly posited by those who haven’t thought about it much, the Sahara is a desert due to purely ‘natural’ reasons, then there may be nothing we can do about it. But evidence abounds that human activity (primarily unintelligent farming methods) was the real cause, and this discovery adds support to that view.
More at fox news, where they predictably used it to slag off Gadhafi.
(saved in case the link goes: Lost Civilization Discovered in Sahara Desert)