Desertification and land damage

The surprising truth about this worldwide problem that affects even "healthy" landscapes.

Index of articles and links

In spite of billions spent to halt desertification, deserts are now spreading faster that any time in human history. Subtler land damage problems such as erosion, loss of biodiversity and landscape productivity, flooding, and droughts affect virtually every person on earth.

desert
Now desert, South Africa's Karoo was once grassland supporting millions of game animals. Article.


Joy Livingwell
oaks
Most California, U.S.A. oak savanna has no young trees. Shallow-rooted annual grasses replaced deep-rooted natives, creating a statewide landslide problem. Subtle land damage like this is much more widespread than obvious desertification.

Erosion slide show. Pictures from around the world tell the story of erosion's causes, costs, and cures. In 2 parts: why erosion happens (20 photos); protecting and growing soil (15 photos).

Desertification -- what it is and how to fix it (articles). Desertification currently affects about 1/4 of Earth's land area. Most conventional "solutions" for desertification can't work. Describes proven methods that succeed.

Grazing and overgrazing (articles). What is overgrazing? Until recently wild herds of millions severely grazed and trampled the world's grasslands, yet the land stayed healthy. Why do small numbers of livestock now destroy the same areas?

The American Sahara: the new desert beneath our feet by Thomas J. Elpel. Most land damage gets overlooked, because people consider it "normal". A good article with pictures and links. On Wildflowers and Weeds website.

Brittleness: why management that helps some landscapes harms others (articles). Management that doesn't suit the landscape is the leading cause of desertification worldwide.