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'Analyse the measurements of desertification'

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6 (ii) 'Analyse the measurements of desertification' "Drought and desertification threaten the livelihood of over one billion people in more than 110 countries" warned general Kofi in 2001 (Kovach,2003). Desertifications definition is highly disputed but it is generally the shift of arid or semi-arid regions to desert-like conditions, which support: little vegetation, a low soil fertility and high evaporation rates (Haggett, 2001). This work will overlook how deserts are measured by a variety of different means. To measure the growth of deserts characteristics need to be obtained. By creating set indicators for deserts the spread of desertification can be gauged. Climate (Anderson,2001) is one of the larger indicators of the spread of deserts: as you can see from appendix 1B, the worlds deserts are in general located in and around the equatorial region and the tropics. ...read more.


roots and nutrient cycles (Sharma,1997). National monthly rainfall index (NMRI) (UN) is used to measure monthly changes in precipiatation, weighjted against the yearly averages (UN, 2004). Also the local flora and fauna act as indicators of desertification: vegetation cover allows biologists to define weather the areas flora is decreasing in number (UN,2004) and thus potentially allowing for land degradation to set in (the forerunner to desertification). Also the types of vegetation in potential risk areas is important: the appearance of xerophytes indicates that there is little groundwater, also the appearance of halophytes would indicate higher than average soil salinity and perhaps the onset of soil salinisation (Saouma, 1993) ...read more.


Word count: 489 Saouma, E. (1993), Sustainable development of drylands and combating desertification, http://www.fao.org/documents/show_cdr.asp?url_file=/docrep/v0265e/V0265E02.htm Friedman, S. M. & Friedman, K. A. (1994), Desertification backgrounder, http://www.lehigh.edu/~kaf3/books/reporting/desert.html Anderson P, Gaseb N, Hoffman T and Klintenberg p. (2001) A3. From Community Perceptions to Remote Sensing: Methodologies Used for the Assessment of Desertification in Southern Africa, http://www.drfn.org/des2002/module3.html. Sharma K. D. (1997) The hydrological indicators of desertification, Journal of Arid Environments, 121-132, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=MImg&_imagekey=B6WH9-45J560X-2G-1&_cdi=6845&_user=122866&_orig=browse&_coverDate=06%2F30%2F1998&_sk=999609997&view=c&wchp=dGLbVlz-zSkzV&md5=7d34d4ad0bd36d0a9c7db80a26e152db&ie=/sdarticle.pdf Pullen, S. (2004) The Desert biome, http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gloss5/biome/deserts.html Carstanjen, H (1992) Managing fragile ecosystems: combating desertification and drought, http://www.unccd.entico.com/english/chapter12.htm#d Division for sustainable devt. (UN) (2004) Managing fragile ecosystems: combating desertification and drought - Indicators, http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/natlinfo/indicators/indisd/english/chapt12e.htm Berrahmouni, N and Burgess N. (2001) Sahara desert, http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/pa/pa1327_full.html Kovach, K and McGuire B (2003) Guide to Global Hazards, Philips, London Haggett, P (2001), Geography - A Global Synthesis, Prentice hall ...read more.

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