Table of Contents
How much of the world is desertification?
More than 75 percent of Earth’s land area is already degraded, according to the European Commission’s World Atlas of Desertification, and more than 90 percent could become degraded by 2050.
What percent of the earth is drylands?
Drylands are one of the more important ecosystems in the world, comprising fully 40 percent of the Earth’s land surface.
How many people are at risk of desertification?
The livelihoods of more than 1 billion people in some 100 countries are threatened by desertification. Nearly 1billion of the poorest and most marginalized people, who live in the most vulnerable areas, may be the most severely affected by desertification.
Overgrazing and deforestation are two additional human activities that can lead to desertification. Overgrazing occurs when farmers allow livestock to graze to the point where they damage the vegetation.
Are the deserts expanding?
Deserts usually form in the sub-tropics due to airflow rising from the hotter equator and dropping back down around the tropics. However, scientists have observed that tropical latitudes are moving polewards at a speed of 30 miles per decade, and thus, the deserts within are expanding.
What is Australia doing to stop desertification?
What is Australia doing to combat desertification. The Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) program, in conjunction with the Working on Country Indigenous Ranger Programme, is one of the leading initiatives addressing environmental degradation in Australia. The IPA programme currently protects almost 70 million hectares.
How many people live in arid areas?
2.1 billion people live in the world’s deserts and drylands. 90% of the population is in developing countries.
Do all inhabited continents have drylands?
These aridity zones spread across all continents, but are found most predominantly in Asia and Africa (Table 1). Commonly recognized drylands include the African Sahel, Australian Outback, South American Patagonia, and North American Great Plains.
What percent of the USA is desert?
More than 30 percent of North America is comprised of arid or semi-arid lands, with about 40 percent of the continental United States at risk for desertification [source: U.N.].
Is desertification caused by humans?
Human activities that contribute to desertification include the expansion and intensive use of agricultural lands, poor irrigation practices, deforestation, and overgrazing. These unsustainable land uses place enormous pressure on the land by altering its soil chemistry and hydrology.
How does population growth lead to desertification?
The main causes of desertification include: Population growth – the population in some desert areas is increasing. An increased population is putting greater pressure on the environment for resources such as wood and water. Removal of wood – in developing countries, people use wood for cooking.
How can we stop desertification?
Strategies to reduce desertification
- Planting more trees – the roots of trees hold the soil together and help to reduce soil erosion from wind and rain.
- Improving the quality of the soil – this can be managed by encouraging people to reduce the number of grazing animals they have and grow crops instead.
How many people are affected by desertification?
All of this contributes to soil erosion and an inability for the land to retain water or regrow plants. About 2 billion people live on the drylands that are vulnerable to desertification, which could displace an estimated 50 million people by 2030. Where is desertification happening, and why?
What is the definition of desertification?
Desertification refers to the land degradation in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities. When land degradation happens in the world’s drylands, it often creates desert-like conditions. Globally, 24% of the land is degrading.
What is the population density in the desert?
Population density increases as aridity decreases. It ranges from 10 people per square kilometer in the deserts to 71 people in the dry sub-humid (rangelands) areas. When land degradation occurs in the drylands, it is referred to as desertification.
How much agricultural land is lost to desertification in Africa?
Some studies have shown that Africa has lost approximately 650,000 km² of its productive agricultural land over the past 50 years; the propagation of desertification in this area is considerable.