Climate Change

Global Warming

Is global warming causing deserts to expand?

Desertification—the expansion of deserts and corresponding decrease in fresh water supplies—is the result of several factors, including agricultural misuse, overpopulation, drought, and also climate change. There is no question whatsoever that the world’s deserts are increasing in acreage at an alarming rate and that freshwater lakes and other water supplies are shrinking and turning to dust. Many examples may be cited, but here are just a few:

  • Lake Chad, which has water shared by the African nations of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad, is 95 percent smaller than it was in the 1960s.

  • Kazakhstan has lost half of its productive farmland since 1980.

  • Sandstorms in Iran have engulfed more than 100 villages since 2002.

  • The Gobi Desert in China is growing quickly, destroying land and causing giant dust storms that cost the country $6.5 billion every year.

  • It is estimated that, by 2025, three fourths of Africa will face starvation because of the loss of water and farmland.

  • Population migration and fights over resources are leading to wars, especially in Africa, such as the current conflict in Sudan.


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