Encyclopedia of World Climatology

2005 Edition
| Editors: John E. Oliver

Desertification

  • Michael H. Glantz
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3266-8_65

The prolonged multiyear drought in the early 1970s in the Sahelian zone, stretching from West Africa to the Horn of Africa, precipitated a sharp increase in death and morbidity of humans and livestock, as well as widespread environmental deterioration. Stark satellite images capturing the degradation of the land surface throughout the region were backed up by ground-truth photographs of the landscape and human suffering.

Although many articles, papers, and reports from various countries begin with comments on the role of the Sahelian drought in the growing interest in desertification (e.g. Glantz, 1977; UN Secretariat of the Conference on Desertification, 1977; Quintanilla, 1981; Zonn, 1981), that drought was neither the first manifestation of the desertification phenomenon nor the only reason for scientific interest in it. In fact, Aubreville (1949), a French scientist, was the first to use the term “desertification” in his report, and others (e.g. Le Houérou, 1962) have discussed...

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Cross-references

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    Arid ClimatesGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aridity IndexesGoogle Scholar
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  4. 4.

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© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael H. Glantz

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