Download PDF by Monique Mainguet: Aridity: Droughts and Human Development

By Monique Mainguet

At the intersection of environmental technological know-how and human biology this booklet offers with dry ecosystems - aridity, droughts, wind and its impression on soils and legislation - the societies plagued by those ecosystems, and the inventiveness of these dwelling less than those stipulations. those environments are the foundation of nomad life, of irrigated agriculture and of the 1st civilisations depending on streams. alterations within the glossy epoch, the ever-increasing expertise and demographic improvement convey that environmental degradation and the socio-economic scenario can't be defined through only one issue. This ebook attempts to reply to the query no matter if long-lasting improvement is feasible in dry environments.

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Amplitude of displacements of isohyets in Mali since 1922 Isohyets (mm) Amplitude of displacements of isohyets west of the longitude of Mopti (Mali) West (km) Centre (km) East (km) 400 125 600 135 120 100 800 40 40 60 1000 90 160 120 1200 75 150 140 19· 16· 13· 10· Fig. 11. -P. Carbonnel) mm isohyet in West Africa prior to and during the droughts of The position of the 400 mm isohyet in Mali was thus subjected to a displacement of 400 km to the south during the discontinuous drought of 1968-1985 adding a previously semi-arid stretch of land to the desert.

To this is added the variation of tlte water level of lakes as a result of the couplet runoff/infiltration and evaporation. This is not a highly sophisticated indicator but shows any trends that might exist. ) the levels of most African lakes, especially between 13° N and 2° S, were higher. , an indicator of a drop in precipitation. The levels of East African lakes and amongst those in Kenya the Turkana, Beringo, Bogoria, Nakuru, Eleimentata, Naivasha, and Magadi, which had a higher level after the exceptional rains 1951-1952, have not ceased falling since.

The plants colonized the dunes, trapping particles in saltation, holding back organic debris, thereby bringing nutritional components to the soil, ameliorating its structure, its water retaining potential and thus its fertility. Thereafter overgrazing exposed these sandy surfaces to aeolian processes during the dry period, resulting in a loss of the A-horizon. The vulnerability of the soils to erosion grew and nutrients were lost, leading to a lower growth potential for vegetation, to a degradation of the soil and to a reactivation of the dunes (Mainguet 1981; Mainguet and Chemin 1987; Bendali et al.

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