Publication Abstracts

Hillel and Rosenzweig 2002

Hillel, D., and C. Rosenzweig, 2002: Desertification in relation to climate variability and change. In Advances in Agronomy. D.I. Sparks, Ed., vol. 77. Academic Press, pp. 1-38.

Ecosystems in semiarid regions appear to be undergoing degradation processes commonly described as desertification. We review the concepts, definitions, and processes pertinent to the problem. Focusing on the long-term drought in the African Sahel as a case study, we analyze the relationships among climatic, biophysical, and social factors. Hypotheses related to the causation and persistence of drought involve the roles of land-surafce change, atmospheric dust, and ocean-atmosphere dynamics. Remote sensing techniques have made possible monitoring ecosystem changes on a regional scale. Where fresh water resources are available, irrigation can be an effective way to stabilize and intensify agricultural production, but water resource development needs to be accompanied by water conservation and salinity control. Key social factors include land tenure, instituional structures, and population growth. Projections derived from global climate models suggest that drought conditions in the Sahel may worsen in the coming decades. Given challenges facing semiarid countries, vulnerability to the intertwined effects of degradation and climate change appears to be high. Improvements of scientific understanding of climate phenomena and their interconnections over space and time offer oppurtunities for controlling destructive land-use practuces, augmenting carbon sinks through better soil management, and enhancing resilience.

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BibTeX Citation

@inbook{hi02000x,
  author={Hillel, D. and Rosenzweig, C.},
  editor={Sparks, D. I.},
  title={Desertification in relation to climate variability and change},
  booktitle={Advances in Agronomy},
  year={2002},
  volume={77},
  pages={1--38},
  publisher={Academic Press},
  address={San Diego},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - CHAP
ID  - hi02000x
AU  - Hillel, D.
AU  - Rosenzweig, C.
ED  - Sparks, D. I.
PY  - 2002
TI  - Desertification in relation to climate variability and change
BT  - Advances in Agronomy
VL  - 77
SP  - 1
EP  - 38
PB  - Academic Press
CY  - San Diego
ER  -

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