The desert is dying

Feb 14, 2007

Researchers from University of Bergen have found that trees, which are a main resource for desert people and their flocks, are in significant decline in the hyper-arid Eastern Desert of Egypt.

In places more than 50% of the mature trees have disappeared between 1965 and 2003, while almost no new trees have been recruited. Despite extreme aridity the main cause of tree mortality seems not to be climate, but commercial charcoal production. This indicates that the traditional and sustainable indigenous resource management, which desert people have developed through millennia, is changing.

Desertification has been recurrently discussed and questioned since the 1970s. The focus has been on desert borderlands, while changes in sparse but important vegetation resources within the desert core have been neglected.

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Climate pledges: Deadline sees slow but promising start

Related Stories

Mars is the next step for humanity – we must take it

Feb 09, 2015

Elon Musk has built a US$12 billion company in an endeavour to pave the way to Mars for humanity. He insists that Mars is a "long-term insurance policy" for "the light of consciousness" in the face of cli ...

Orangutans take the logging road

Jan 28, 2015

A new discovery by a Simon Fraser University doctoral student in the School of Resource and Environmental Management, published in Oryx, demonstrates that orangutans may be even more adaptable than he fir ...

School buses bring Wi-Fi to impoverished families

Dec 29, 2014

Near the shore of the murky Salton Sea in the Southern California desert, a bus drives up to West Shores High School each day with a critical connection: A Wi-Fi router mounted behind an interior mirror, providing Internet ...

The Sahara olive tree: A genetic heritage to be preserved

May 03, 2013

The Saharan cousin of Mediterranean olive trees remains largely unknown. However, this subspecies (called the Laperinne's olive tree) is of great interest for several reasons. IRD researchers and their partners ...

Recommended for you

Study provides detailed projections of coral bleaching

3 hours ago

While research shows that nearly all coral reef locations in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico will experience bleaching by mid-century, a new study showing in detail when and where bleaching will occur shows ...

Germany restricts fracking but doesn't ban it

9 hours ago

The German cabinet drew up rules Wednesday on the hitherto unregulated technology of "fracking" in Germany, narrowly restricting its use, but stopping short of an outright ban.

Life in the poisonous breath of sleeping volcanos

10 hours ago

Researchers of the University Jena analyze the microbial community in volcanically active soils. In a mofette close to the Czech river Plesná in north-western Bohemia, the team around Prof. Dr. Kirsten Küsel ...

Eggs and chicken instead of beef reap major climate gains

11 hours ago

Beef on our plates is one of the biggest climate villains, but that does not mean we have to adopt a vegan diet to reach climate goals. Research results from Chalmers University of Technology show that adopting ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.