Desertification Case Study:
Desertification is the process of land degradation, reduction of their qualities under the anthropogenic and natural factors. The definition of desertification appeared in 1940 when people began paying attention to the problem of land degradation and started studying the issue deeper.
The term ‘land’ has a special meaning – a bioproductive system consisting of soil, water, plants and other biomass; and also ecological and hydrological processes in this system. Land degradation is the reduction of the intensiveness of these processes under the effect of the human activity and extensive agriculture. Degradation is connected with drying of land, withering of vegetation and reduction of soil cohesion, which increase the risk of rapid wind erosion and dust storms.
Desertification is supposed to be one of the most serious results of climate change, because it is probably impossible to restore the quality of the soil which was affected by the process of degradation (in order to restore 1 cm2 of soil, one requires 70-150 years).
Deserted areas cover more than 41% of Earth’s surface and more than 2 billion people live of these territories. It is obvious that the majority of the people living there are the citizens of the developing countries. Desertification is caused by the uncontrolled agriculture, deforestation, creation of wild lands into pasture, droughts, climatic change, etc. The effects of desertification are obvious – the total reduction of the quality of the human life, the shortage of vegetables, fruit, meat, milk (because of the impossibility of pasturing cattle on the deserted areas), reduction of the financial background of people; extinction of the biological species (many species of animals and plants disappear being unable to survive in a desert). The most obvious way of prevention of desertification is reforestation and melioration.
Desertification is a serious problem which requires rapid solutions, otherwise the humanity will be deprived of the fertile soil and will die of hunger. The student who wants to analyze the problem on desertification should learn about the problem more and study all the aspects of the issue. The young person should focus on the cause and effect of desertification, analyze the anthropogenic and natural factors of the problem and think about the solution of the matter demonstrating his creativity and knowledge to the professor.
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