Desertification refers to the development of desert-like conditions in an area and more so in a region adjacent to a desert.
desertification may be expressed as the advancement or extension of the desert.
Desertification has been commonly experienced in the Sahel region of Africa.
it is the term used to describe how once productive land gradually changes into a desert-like landscape.
the process is not necessarily irreversible and is usually taking place in semi-arid land on the edge of the existing hot desert.
the worrying message is that large areas of the world are at risk from desertification.
the most conspicuous includes much of southern Asia, the middle east and north Africa
In East Africa desert-like conditions have been experienced or developed in parts of Northern Kenya, Central and Northern Tanzania, N. Eastern Uganda, and the Ankole-Masaka corridor and parts of Western Uganda adjacent to Lake Albert, Lake George, Albert Nile, and within the East African rift valley.
9 Indicators of desertification
Decreasing rainfall amounts
one of the key indicators of desertification is the decrease of the amount of rainfall year after year. many areas which experience desertification today were once getting enough rainfall but due to deforestation and overgrazing which causes desertification these areas are now experiencing a small amount of rainfall
Rainfall becomes more unreliable
that is more recurring cycles of drought start being experienced.
due to deforestation and loss of vegetation, the temperature tends to increase over time
Reducing relative humidity
due to loss of vegetation which is important in maintaining humidity in the atmosphere desertification lead to a decrease in the humidity in the atmosphere
Increasing diurnal range of temperature.
Reducing the thickness of cloud cover
that is the skies tend to become clearer and clearer with each passing year.
loss of water soil and vegetation water retention capacity
There is loss of water retention capacity of the vegetation and soils i.e. there are increasing evapotranspiration rates.
that is there is the degradation of the biological productivity of the land i.e. reduced plant and animal species.
Increasing wind and run off erosion
hence consequently resulting in reduced soil fertility.