Drought, desertification and desiccation: The need for further analysis

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The world's drylands are widely reported to be suffering from the effects of drought, desertification and degradation. The impacts of these environmental hazards is often acknowledged to be global and yet their occurence and intensity is rarely rigorously assessed at a local level. This article seeks to understand the true nature of drought, desertification and desiccation and in doing so suggests that we need to be more careful how we present environmental change in drylands where spatial variability of both environmental and social systems has not been fully investigated. Detailed analysis of rainfalls in the Sabel region shows that in some areas notions of desiccation and persistent drought can be challenged and that alterations of raingauge networks during the twentieth century may have had a significant impact on the climate record.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-267
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002