More than 40% of the Earth's ecosystems are arid. During the 21st century, their numbers are expected to dramatically
Based on satellite images, dailyEarth Observers, researchers from the Department of Earth Sciences and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen have studied the evolution of vegetation in arid regions. Their conclusion is unambiguous:
We are seeing a clear trend in the development of aridterritories: they are degrading. It is obvious that vegetation is increasingly suffering from a lack of water. The fact is that countries with this type of climate also have fewer resources than rich ones.
Rasmus Fensholt, Professor at the Department of Geological and Geophysical Research and Natural Resource Management.
Researchers analyzed satellite imagesvegetation and precipitation over 15 years: from 2000 to 2015. To compare the evolution of vegetation in arid regions of the world, the researchers removed precipitation totals from the equation. In other words, they made a calculation that takes into account the fact that some regions have received more rain in recent decades, while others have less.
This gives a more accurate picture of health.ecosystems, as human influence becomes easier to identify: in other words, whether resource use is balanced or ecosystem resources are overexploited.
The results show that in arid regions,especially in Africa and Asia, less vegetation for rainfall, in contrast to South America and Australia. This can be due to several reasons, such as rapid population growth. In Africa, there is a growing need to exploit lands that are poorly suited for agriculture. This leads to lower yields and an increase in the number of livestock that will graze on already small areas of grass.
On the other hand, there are arid but richcountries: they are better at coping with climate change. Apparently due to the fact that they have the resource to develop agriculture and supply watering to hard-to-reach places.
This means that climate change trends are disappointing for developing countries. This can lead to more and more people starving and forced to migrate.
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