Home » Posts tagged 'desertification'

Tag Archives: desertification

Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Post Archives by Category

Desertification: An Existential Crisis For Iran

Desertification: An Existential Crisis For Iran

  • Iran is grappling with severe desertification and water scarcity, leading to potentially uninhabitable territories, contributing to internal migration and posing a threat of mass exodus.
  • Tehran’s attempts to mitigate water scarcity have led to dam-building and water-intensive irrigation projects that have contributed to the drying up of rivers and underground water reservoirs, exacerbating the desertification problem.
  • Iran, one of the most water-stressed nations globally, faces potential conflict due to water scarcity, both internally and with neighboring states such as Afghanistan, adding to its socio-political challenges.

Temperatures in Iran are hitting record highs, rivers and lakes are drying up, and prolonged droughts are becoming the norm, highlighting a water crisis that is turning much of the country’s territory to dust.

The desertification of Iran is occurring at a staggering pace, with officials last month warning that more than 1 million hectares of the country’s territory — roughly equivalent to the size of Qom Province or Lebanon — is essentially becoming uninhabitable every year.

The situation has Tehran scrambling to gain control of the situation in a country where up to 90 percent of the land is arid or semi-arid. But the clock is ticking to stave off what even officials have acknowledged could lead to an existential crisis and the mass exodus of civilians.

The warning signs were on full display this month. Temperatures in southwestern Iran hit a staggering 66.7 degrees Celsius (152 degrees Fahrenheit), higher than what is considered tolerable for human life.

Iranian scientists warned that the water levels of Lake Urmia, which is in severe danger of drying up, are the lowest recorded in 60 years. And in what has become routine, advisories were issued about the threat of suffocating dust storms.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Saving the Planet


I have often found myself wincing as I hear people talking about saving the planet. It’s felt wrong!  I can hear the voices of condemnation screaming at me now … ‘What a horrible person you are not to agree with saving the planet.’… but let me explain.

I’m the same age as Geoff Lawton!  Though I think he’s doing better than me!

I was brought up in the 50s/60s. I had two dads, my biological one and my step dad. My father was a left wing, ‘why is the government giving money to the farmers just because they have a drought’ type of person. He was always railing against the government because it didn’t look after the poor people. He was also the one who would order me out of the room so he could spray DDT in the living room to kill the flies. We left when I was 10.

My step dad was right wing. He didn’t believe the government should be giving out free money to people. He believed in self responsibility. What can you do to get yourself out of the situation?  He was also a firm believer in organic farming, no poisons, and natural health solutions. (Yes, I know that sounds counterintuitive, but you’d be amazed how many right wing people believe in self responsibly and growing their own food!)

My teen years saw my parents growing all our produce organically and sharing produce with friends who also grew organically.

In Grade 10, a science teacher gave us a scenario. He explained that all energy can be quantified as BTUs, from the physical energy you put into something, to the energy it takes to make a product. He gave us an example…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Land Degradation Could Create 50 Million Climate Refugees Within a Decade

Land Degradation Could Create 50 Million Climate Refugees Within a Decade

  Anti-desertification sand fences in Morocco. (Anderson Sady / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Fifty million refugees fleeing hunger and poverty could be created in the next decade unless the world’s land degradation crisis is addressed, according to a new U.N.-backed study.

The report, titled “The Value of Land,” estimates that between $6.3 trillion and $10.6 trillion worth of resources—including agricultural products, soil quality and benefits in tackling climate change—are lost each year due to land degradation. This is equivalent to between 10 and 17 percent of global annual GDP.

From the International Business Times:

“Our lands are no longer able to keep up with the pressures placed on its limited resources. Increasing misuse and demands for its goods are resulting in rapidly intensifying desertification and land degradation globally—an issue of growing importance for all people and at all scales,” the report said.

Globally, 2.6 billion people depend directly on agriculture. According to the report, soil degradation—exacerbated by deforestation and pollution—drought and desertification affect approximately 52 percent of arable land. Over the next 25 years, this might reduce global food production by up to 12 percent, raising global food prices by as much as 30 percent.

However, the authors added, “the economics of land degradation is about a lot more than agriculture.”

Desertification also threatens water availability and quality—a phenomenon that is believed to have played a key role in pushing Syria toward a brutal, protracted civil war that has cost nearly 300,000 lives. According to a previous study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an unprecedented drought in Syria between 2007 and 2010 triggered an exodus of nearly 1.5 million farmers to cities in search of food and work—a “contributing factor” that eventually led to the civil war.

Additionally, desertification also jeopardizes global biodiversity. Some estimates suggest that our planet might currently be losing approximately 27,000 species every year, a number that is likely to escalate with increase in the rate of desertification.


…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Food Tank Webinar Series With Dr. Roger Leakey on the Global Food Crisis

Food Tank Webinar Series With Dr. Roger Leakey on the Global Food Crisis

This discussion features Dr. Roger Leakey, a crop physiologist and tree biologist who has worked in forestry and agroforestry aimed to reverse deforestation and desertification in the tropics.

About Roger Leakey

Vice Chair of International Tree Foundation

Born and brought up in Kenya, Roger has had a successful career as a research scientist in tree biology working on the interface of tropical agriculture, horticulture, forestry, ecology, and to some extent social science, around the world, but primarily in Africa. He has been Professor of Agroecology and Sustainable Development at James Cook University, Cairns, Australia; Head of tropical Ecology at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh, Scotland, and Director of Research at the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry in Nairobi, Kenya. He has done consultancy work around the tropics for many international development agencies and was a Coordinating Lead Author in the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development.

Roger has a D.Sc. for his work on tree domestication and a Ph.D. in plant physiology. He also has a B.Sc. and diplomas in practical agriculture. He holds a number of Fellowships (FIBiol, CBiol, FRGS) and is a Fellow of both the Faculty of Science of Edinburgh University and of the World Agroforestry Centre. He is Vice-president of the International Society of Tropical Foresters. Roger is the author of a popular science book on the role of tropical trees in environmental rehabilitation, and the alleviation of poverty, malnutrition and hunger. It is entitled “Living with the Trees of Life: Towards the Transformation of Tropical Agriculture” and was published in 2012 by CABI. (www.rogerleakey.com)

…click on the above link to view the webinar…



Olduvai IV: Courage
Click on image to read excerpts

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Click on image to purchase @ FriesenPress