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Changements climatiques et désertisation Volume 4, issue 2, Juin 1993

Author
CEFE/CNRS, BP 5051, 34033 Montpellier Cedex 01, France.
  • Page(s) : 95-111
  • Published in: 1993

The increase in air pollution due to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-effect gases could result in climatic changes in the decades to come, global warming in particular. If this does occur, it would not only be harmful to plant-life, farming and land use but also increase desertization in arid regions. Desertization is already a serious problem in large areas of the world’s arid regions, due largely to human over-exploitation of natural renewable resources, and hence closely related to the population explosion of this latter half of the 20th century. Global warming could only worsen the situation since it would increase potential evapotranspiration which could not be compensated for by carbon fertilisation in arid zones. Recent technological progress such as orbital remote sensing, computing and computer modelling have not as yet contributed to combatting desertization since the knowledge gained has not been put to use where it is needed, i.e. everyday situations in the field.