Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world's land area, are extremely vulnerable to over-exploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing, and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the land's productivity.
Desertification is the process by which fertile land becomes desert. In simple terms, when no vegetation exists on top of the land, the wind blows away the dirt and sand, and causes sand dunes. The sand dunes then move from place to place creating desert crawl.
According to the United Nations, ¼ of land is threatened by desertification. Approximatetly, 110 countries are affected, and 12 million hectares are said to be lost every year to desertification.
So, what factors are contributing to desertification? Recent weather extremes have been linked to desertification (in particular, drought). Human activities such as: deforestation, overgrazing and over-cultivation are also to blame for our diminishing arable lands. Chemical fertilizers, and over plowing also causes soil to compact and dry out, as well as poorly managed irrigation. In essence, any human activity that one can think of that pollutes, or degrades the land, can be seen as a threat.
As ecosystems …