Current Desertification News and Events

Current Desertification News and Events, Desertification News Articles.
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Climate change in antiquity: mass emigration due to water scarcity
The absence of monsoon rains at the source of the Nile was the cause of migrations and the demise of entire settlements in the late Roman province of Egypt. This demographic development has been compared with environmental data for the first time by professor of ancient history, Sabine Huebner of the University of Basel - leading to a discovery of climate change and its consequences. (2021-01-25)

Photovoltaics industry can help meet Paris agreement targets
To meet the Paris Agreement's goal of preventing Earth's average temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial level, one of the best options for the energy economy will involve a shift to 100% renewable energy using solar energy and other clean energy sources. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, researchers describe a model developed to predict what is necessary for the solar industry to meet Paris Agreement targets. (2020-10-27)

Global study reveals time running out for many soils - but conservation measures can help
Researchers found more than 90 per cent of the conventionally farmed soils in their global study were thinning, and 16 per cent had lifespans of less than a century. These rapidly thinning soils were found all over the world, including countries such as Australia, China, the UK, and the USA. (2020-09-14)

Identifying the blind spots of soil biodiversity
Soils harbour a substantial part of the world's biodiversity, yet data on the patterns and processes taking place below ground does not represent all relevant ecosystems and taxa. For example, tropical and subtropical regions largely remain a blind spot when it comes to soil biodiversity. This is one of the results of a new study published in Nature Communications and led by scientists from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and Leipzig University (UL). (2020-08-03)

Changes to drylands with future climate change
While drylands around the world will expand at an accelerated rate because of future climate change, their average productivity will likely be reduced, according to a new study. These regions, which primarily include savannas, grasslands and shrublands, are important for grazing and non-irrigated croplands. They are also a critical part of the global carbon cycle and make up 41% of Earth's land surface and support 38% of its population. (2020-04-03)

Re-thinking 'tipping points' in ecosystems and beyond
Abrupt environmental changes, known as regime shifts, are the subject of new research in which shows how small environmental changes trigger slow evolutionary processes that eventually precipitate collapse. (2020-03-02)

Major study shows climate change can cause abrupt impacts on dryland ecosystems
A study finds for the first time that as levels of aridity increase due to climate change, abrupt changes are experienced on dryland ecosystems. (2020-02-14)

Sand dunes can 'communicate' with each other
Even though they are inanimate objects, sand dunes can 'communicate' with each other. A team from the University of Cambridge has found that as they move, sand dunes interact with and repel their downstream neighbors. (2020-02-04)

Evolving landscape added fuel to Gobi Desert's high-speed winds
A new study finds that the dark, rocky landscape of the Hami basin in the Gobi Desert helped to make it one of the windiest places in China. (2020-01-08)

Greening at high latitudes may inhibit the expansion of midlatitude deserts
Besides inducing a stronger greenhouse effect, increasing carbon dioxide is also leading to global vegetation greening, especially in high latitudes, by the fertilization effect. A new study finds high-latitude vegetation greening may inhibit the expansion of midlatitude deserts. (2020-01-08)

Plants might be helping each other more than thought
Contrary to the long-held belief that plants in the natural world are always in competition, new research has found that in harsh environments mature plants help smaller ones -- and thrive as a result. (2019-11-13)

Ages of the Navajo Sandstone
The real Jurassic Park was as an ancient landscape home to a vast desert covered mostly in sand dunes as far as the eye could see, where dinosaurs and small mammals roamed southern Utah. The Navajo Sandstone is known for its beautiful red and tan crossbedded sandstones that grace many of the national parks and monuments in the southwest USA -- for example Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion national parks. (2019-09-09)

Fewer cows, more trees and bioenergy
Combatting global warming will require major changes in land use, a new climate change report says. One important change could be decreasing the amount of land used to produce livestock -- which means that people would have to eat less meat. (2019-08-08)

Using an embryonic pause to save the date
A date palm seedling can pause its development to boost its resilience before emerging into the harsh desert environment. (2019-07-08)

Semi-arid land in China has expanded in recent decades and probably continues to expand
Semi-arid regions in China have undergone continuous expansion and a significant drying trend in recent decades. In the 21st century, semi-arid regions in China are projected to continuously expand, which will increase the challenges in dealing with desertification, food security and water supply. (2019-07-08)

Scientists discover unlikely culprit for fertilizing North Pacific Ocean: Asian dust
The vast subtropical 'gyres' -- large systems of rotating currents in the middle of the oceans -- cover 40% of the Earth's surface and have long been considered biological deserts with stratified waters that contain very little nutrients to sustain life. (2019-06-10)

Microscopic life in the saline soil of the Marismas del Odiel Natural Park
This research opens new perspectives in microbiome study of this type of environment, which can produce data on, among other aspects, possible climate alterations and other environmental factors in microbial populations. (2019-04-25)

Holocene changes of landforms and environments in the eastern portion of Asian mid-latitude deserts
Based on careful field investigation over decades and geochronological and paleoenvironmental data, Professor Xiaoping Yang of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou and his collaborators from several institutions jointly studied the Holocene histories of the sand seas and sandy lands in the eastern portion of the desert belt in northern China. (2019-04-23)

The power of one country to influence treaty ratification
New research shows just how powerful the United States' and other countries' influence can be on persuading other nations to ratify international treaties. The first-of-its-kind study shows the influence of countries in treaty ratification can extend beyond their close allies and could even help persuade rivals to join agreements. (2019-03-07)

Why Tehran is sinking dangerously
Researchers from the Remote Sensing Section of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam used data from radar satellites to measure the subsidence of the Earth's surface in the Tehran region in Iran. They found out that between 2003 and 2017 three areas sank there with rates of sometimes more than 25 centimetres per year, and several meters in total. For the first time, this study traces in detail the subsidence in this region over a longer period of time. (2018-12-06)

Nutrient-recycling microbes may feel the heat
While microbial communities are the engines driving the breakdown of dead plants and animals, little is known about whether they are equipped to handle big changes in climate. In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sydney Glassman at UC Riverside and colleagues examine what happens after microbial communities move into new climate conditions. The study is a first step toward understanding the vulnerability of these ecosystems to climate change. (2018-11-05)

New World Atlas of Desertification shows unprecedented pressure on planet's resources
The World Desertification Atlas by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre provides the first comprehensive, evidence-based assessment of land degradation at a global level and highlights the urgency to adopt corrective measures. (2018-06-21)

Previous findings on tropical forest restoration were biased
What we think we know about how to restore tropical forests is based on shaky science. Missouri Botanical Garden Scientist Leighton Reid and other researchers reviewed major studies that had found natural regeneration was as good as or better than tree planting, and found those studies to be biased. Natural regeneration was studied in more resilient sites than tree planting, making it an apples to oranges comparison. This means there is no one-size-fits-all solution to forest restoration. (2018-05-16)

Desertification and monsoon climate change linked to shifts in ice volume and sea level
The East Asian summer monsoon and desertification in Eurasia is driven by fluctuating Northern Hemisphere ice volume and global sea level during the Ice Age, as shown in a study published in Nature Communications. Today, two thirds of the world's population is dependent on agriculture sustained by rains of the East Asian summer monsoon, and future climate change in this region can therefore have a major impact on global food production. (2018-03-07)

Glaciers provide clues to combat desertification
Understanding how bacteria help convert glacier bedrock into soil could help address desertification. (2018-03-06)

Life under extreme drought conditions
The core region of the Atacama Desert is one of the most arid places on earth. However, scientists have found microorganisms there. But it has remained unclear whether these environments support active microbial growth or whether the observed cells were introduced by wind transport and subsequently degraded. Detailed analyses show: Even in the most arid zones of the Atacama a microbial community exists which becomes metabolically active following episodic increase in moisture after rainfalls. (2018-02-26)

Bacteria under your feet
In cooperation with Universidad Rey Juan Carlos - URJC An international team of researchers, including ERC grantee Fernando T. Maestre from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), pieced together a global atlas of soil bacteria. The study, published today in Science, identifies some five hundred species of dominant bacteria living in soils worldwide. The findings, based on EU-funded research, could open new paths to improve soil fertility and increase agricultural production. (2018-01-18)

Study predicts a significantly drier world at 2ºC
New research predicts a significantly drier world if global warming reaches 2ºC. Over a quarter of the world's land could become significantly drier and the change would cause an increased threat of drought and wildfires. Limiting warming to under 1.5ºC would dramatically reduce the fraction of the Earth's surface that undergoes such changes. Areas which would most benefit from keeping warming below 1.5ºC include Central America, Southern Europe, Southern Australia, parts of South East Asia, and Southern Africa. (2018-01-01)

Who is the chief culprit of dust concentrations over East Asia?
Compared with the Taklimakan Desert, the Gobi Desert located between China and Mongolia is the dominant contributor to the East Asian dust concentrations. (2017-09-08)

Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100
In the year 2100, 2 billion people -- about one-fifth of the world's population -- could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to Cornell University research. (2017-06-26)

New perspective: Vegetation phenology variability based on tibetan plateau tree-ring data
Recently, a research group headed by Prof. YANG Bao from the Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with coauthors from Russia, Germany, Canada and Sweden, has reconciled these conflicting results based on a 55-year series of vegetation phenology for the TP derived from well-validated process-based Vaganov-Shashkin model (V-S) simulations of tree-ring growth data. (2017-06-20)

Did humans create the Sahara desert?
New research investigating the transition of the Sahara from a lush, green landscape 10,000 years ago to the arid conditions found today, suggests that humans may have played an active role in its desertification. (2017-03-14)

The microworm of Jaén whose males have no penis
In the most arid areas where there is little to no water, there live nematodes of no more than 1 mm which feed on bacteria and help to mineralise soil and produce nutrients. In an orchard of Jaén a new species has appeared with a feature that makes them unique on the Iberian Peninsula: the males lack the copulatory organ. (2017-03-01)

Environmental scientist's early warning indicators win the prize
Promising environmental researcher David Seekell has been awarded a prestigious prize: the Science and SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists. He was awarded the prize for his dissertation at Umeå University that developed early warning indicators for environmental tipping points practically usable to government officials and landowners. (2016-12-02)

Yesterday's Silk Road could be tomorrow's environmental superhighway
While China is building a gigantic modern-day upgrade of the famed ancient Silk Road resplendent in global cooperation in the name of economic expansion, a group of sustainability scholars point out that the Belt and Road Initiative also could be a superhighway of environmental progress. (2016-11-04)

New findings on the history of the early-Islamic caliphate palace Khirbat al-Minya
Archaeologists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany started excavations in September 2016 at Khirbat al-Minya, an early-Islamic caliphate palace on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. Led by PD Dr. Hans-Peter Kuhnen of the JGU Department of Ancient Studies, the team is hoping to find out how the site looked before the palace was built and whether the building was used for different purposes after the catastrophic earthquake of 749 AD. (2016-10-21)

Researchers grow cyberforests to predict climate change
Washington State University researchers have created the first computer simulation that grows realistic forests down to the branches, leaves and roots of individual trees. They are using the simulation, detailed in a new paper in Royal Society Open Science, to determine how drought, warmer weather, more frequent wildfires and other climate-related changes will affect forests across North America. (2016-02-24)

Secondhand smoke: Nations producing less greenhouse gas most vulnerable to climate change
A new study by University of Queensland and WCS shows a dramatic global mismatch between nations producing the most greenhouse gases and the ones most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. (2016-02-05)

This week from AGU: Arctic sea ice, ocean circulation, sea level rise & research papers
Anticipated declines in human-produced aerosols could have a significant effect on Arctic sea ice cover over the remainder of the 21st century, accounting for up to 40 percent of the decline in sea ice extent that could occur in the region by 2100, shows a new Geophysical Research Letters study. (2015-10-21)

World loses trillions of dollars worth of nature's benefits each year due to land degradation
In a new report, experts estimate the value of ecosystem services worldwide forfeited due to land degradation at US $6.3-10.6 trillion annually, or the equivalent of 10-17 percent of global GDP. An estimated 50 million people may be forced to seek new homes and livelihoods within 10 years. That many migrants assembled would constitute the world's 28th largest country by population. (2015-09-15)

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