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Desertification and Soil Erosion

Part of the Handbook of Global Environmental Pollution book series (EGEP,volume 1)

Abstract

Global land area affected is estimated at 1,054 million hectares (Mha) by water erosion, 545 Mha by wind erosion, and 3.5 billion ha by land degradation. In the USA, cultivated cropland area affected by water erosion was estimated at 152 Mha in 1982 and 124 Mha in 2007. The decline in erosion in the USA over 25-year period is attributed to adoption of conservation tillage and implementation of the Conservation Reserves Program. Erosion adversely affects agronomic productivity on-site and water quality and gaseous emission off-site. Adverse effects of erosion on soils with root-restrictive layer(s) at shallow depth can drastically reduce crop yields and aggravate the effects of extreme events such as drought. Conversion to restorative land use and adoption of conservation-effective practices can reduce the risks of soil erosion, improve soil and water quality, increase soil and ecosystem carbon budget, and adapt to and mitigate the abrupt climate change.

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Additional Recommended Reading

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Correspondence to Rattan Lal .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Lal, R. (2014). Desertification and Soil Erosion. In: Freedman, B. (eds) Global Environmental Change. Handbook of Global Environmental Pollution, vol 1. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5784-4_7

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