Aimed at an expert audience, this report is an authoritative and up-to-date assessment of the state of the world's deserts, written and edited by some of the leading names in desert science. The report defines deserts to include all arid and hyper-arid parts of the Earth — some 25 per cent of land surface.

In addition to assessing the future of deserts, the report also highlights the links between deserts and climate change. It shows, for example, that between 1976 and 2000, global climate change contributed to rising temperatures in nine out of the 12 deserts studied. With temperatures set to rise further still, the Sahara is predicted to become drier, according to the report. The Gobi desert, on the other hand, is likely to receive more rain.

The report calls for more enlightened policies to improve the quality of life in deserts. In particular, it advocates moving away from plans that are energy and water-intensive, and instead supporting those that combine traditional wisdom on coping with drought with modern science and technology for sustainable resource management.


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