40 percent of global land in danger of desertification

40 percent of global land in danger of desertification


"Unsustainable land use may lead to the soil becoming degraded. If this happens in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions, such as Spain, this degradation is known as desertification, and the effects can be irreversible, because they lead to areas becoming totally unproductive," says Montserrat Núñez, who led the study at the Institute of Agro Food Research and Technology (IRTA), Spain.

The eight natural areas at risk are coastal areas, the Prairies, the Mediterranean region, the savannah, the temperate Steppes, the temperate deserts, tropical and subtropical Steppes, and the tropical and subtropical deserts.
"The greatest risk of desertification is in the subtropical desert regions - North Africa, the countries of the Middle East, Australia, South West China and the western edge of South America," explains Núñez.

These are followed by areas such as the Mediterranean and the tropical and subtropical Steppes. Coastal areas and the Prairies are at a lower risk of desertification.
Núñez collaborated with scientists from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the National Technological University in Mendoza, Argentina.
His methodology will provide an assessment that will make it possible to measure "the desertification potential caused by any human activity," adds Núñez, according to a release.
The research was published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)