Land desertification problems, causes and combating desertification

Desertification is a common problem of land degradation. It consists in the fact that fertile lands turn into deserts, devoid of moisture and vegetation. As a result, such territories become unsuitable for human life, and only some species of flora and fauna will be able to adapt to life in such conditions.

Causes of desertification

There are many reasons why desertification occurs. Some are natural in nature, as they arise due to natural phenomena, but most causes are caused by anthropogenic activities.

Consider the most relevant causes that lead to desertification of the soil:

Water scarcity. Drought can occur due to an abnormal lack of precipitation during an increase in air temperature. The lack of water resources is due to the remoteness of water bodies, so the earth receives an insufficient amount of moisture;

Climate change. If the air temperature rises, the evaporation of moisture increases, and the precipitation decreases, the climate will become arid;

cutting down trees. If forest areas are destroyed, the soil becomes unprotected from water and wind erosion. Also, the soil will receive a minimum amount of moisture;

grazing. The area where animals graze is losing vegetation very quickly, and the earth will not receive enough moisture. Desertification will occur as a result of ecosystem change;

biological death. When the flora instantly disappears due to infection, for example, by toxic and poisonous substances, the soil lends itself to severe exhaustion;

Insufficient drainage. This occurs as a result of a violation of the drainage system, artificial or natural;

Soil salinization. A similar problem occurs due to the action of groundwater, an imbalance of salts in agricultural activities, or a change in land cultivation technologies;

Lowering of the groundwater level. If groundwater has ceased to nourish the earth, then soon it will lose its fertility;

Termination of land reclamation works. If the land is not irrigated, then desertification will occur from lack of moisture;

There are other reasons why soil changes occur, resulting in desertification.

Desertification types

Depending on the causes of soil changes, several types of desertification can be distinguished. First, it is salinity. It can be primary or secondary, when salts accumulate in the soil naturally or due to sudden changes in climate conditions, water regime.

Secondly, it is deforestization, that is, soil change due to deforestation and destruction of vegetation. Thirdly, there is pasture degradation, which is also a type of desertification. And fourthly, the drying of the seabed, when the water level drops significantly and the bottom, devoid of water, becomes land.

Definition of desertification

Desertification is defined by a number of indicators. This is a measurement of soil salinity and tree density, bottom drainage area and soil bonding. The choice of indicators directly depends on the type of desertification. Each option has its own scale, which can be used to determine the degree of desertification of the land.

Thus, soil desertification is an urgent environmental problem of our time. Of course, we know many deserts on the planet that appeared many millennia ago. If we do not take action, then we risk that soon all the continents of the planet will be covered by deserts, and life will become impossible. The more intense the agricultural and industrial activity of people, the faster desertification occurs. It remains only to guess how many years and where a new desert will appear on the planet.

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