600 pages, 200 black & white tables
Amongst the first in the new "Springer-Praxis Earth System Science Series", "Desertification: The Interplay of Science, Politics and Public Opinion" describes how the process of desertification, a man-induced process that leads to soil nutrient depletion and reduction of biological productivity has heavily affected Sahelian droughts. The team of global experts takes our current understanding of desertification to a far broader level covering wider environmental science and public policy issues.
This innovative new book attempts to distinguish between desertification hysteria and the considerable real threat that the process poses to many semi-arid landscapes and to those who inhabit them with particular focus on current scientific understandings of the mechanisms that drive desertification and reviews of the regional, continental and world-wide evidence for desertification. The book is structured into six core parts. The first part by Roy Behnke sets the scene and explains the event and related problems. The team explains how spheres and events interact and the related problems. Part 2 by Camilla Toulmin examines the evolution in thinking & ideas about desertification, the confrontation of new data & field experience with policy and legal frameworks set within the context of rising concerns about climate change. Part 3, written by Alessandra Giannini explores the scientific causes of desertification. He explores sea surface temperatures, albido and climate forecasts for the Sahel and the significant impact of climate change on desertification. Part 4 discusses regional and international implications, with David Thomas revealing the extent and causes of desertification in drylands outside the Sahel. In particular, he explores desertification in the Mediterranean, sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union, China, Australia and the US, and there's a further section on global databases on desertification.
Michael Mortimer delivers a fresh review of drought adaptation and shows how it will be conducted in order to separate the myths from reality, identifying both the scope and the limitations of adaptive capacity in managing the economic and environmental impacts of drought. In the final section of the book, Mark Stafford Smith reveals some key lessons and helps us make sense of the history of Sahelian desertification, desertification science and policy making, and how to avoid future mistakes and the challenges that lie ahead.
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