[PDF Notes] Here is your short essay on Desserts

Desserts are one of the important components of the Earth’s environment. They are fragile ecosystems where vegetation is absent or scarce as moisture is insufficient to support it. They are a progeny of global climate system under the influence of large-scale land-ocean-atmosphere – cryosphere interactions.

Desertification is defined as land degradation in the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities. It ultimately leads to a reduction or loss of production potential of the land and is a major environmental problem in the Asian countries. In India, the dry lands, comprising the hot arid, semi-arid and the dry sub-humid climatic zones, account for 203 million hectares or 61.9 per cent of the total geographical area (Fig.8:1). Ironically these regions are undergoing a steep rise in population, with attendant demands from the limited land and water resources, and are attracting many new industries, which release toxic elements into its atmosphere, soil and water.

The net result is desertification/degradation of more land, as well as a gradual deterioration of the production potentials of these climatically handicapped fragile regions. According to a recent estimate by Government of India, 32.7 per cent of the country’s land areas (107.43 million ha) is affected by different land degradation processes and need a serious consideration for meaningful control.

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