A global agricultural research-for-development partnership against desertification

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Climate change

A major new threat is climate change (Hillel and Rosenzweig 2002). Modeling results suggest that dry areas could become hotter and drier, especially semi-arid Africa and South Asia (Parry 2002). If climate change increases the frequency and/or intensity of droughts, it would aggravate desertification. Given the uncertainty in the models, other outcomes are also possible; recent observations suggest that the Sahel is re-greening (UNEP 2003), although the reasons are not understood and it appears that more factors than just rainfall are involved.

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Hillel, D. and Rosenzweig, C. 2002. Desertification in relation to climate variability and change. Advances in Agronomy 77:1-38.

Parry, M. L. 2002. Turning up the heat: how will agriculture weather global climate change? Pp. 117-123 in Sustainable Food Security for All by 2020: Proceedings of an International Conference, Sept. 4-6, 2001, Bonn, Germany. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute.

UNEP 2003. State of the environment. UNEP/GCSS.VIII/2. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme




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