Human Causes of Desertification
- Overgrazing: Allowing too much livestock to graze on a piece of land which means all the vegetation is eaten making the ground susceptible to wind and water erosion.
- Overcultivation: If you farm land to intensively and don't have fallow periods then all the nutrients in the soil get used.
- Deforestation: Cutting down trees which not only means the land will be receiving less nutrients, but it also means it is more vulnerable to erosion because there is no interception and less stability because the root systems have been removed.
- Overpopulation: As the world population continues to grow (now about 7 billion) the demand for agricultural products (crops and meat) is increasing, causing more land to be deforested, overcultivated and overgrazed.
- Unsustainable Water Use (aquifer depletion, unsustainable irrigation): If aquifers or rivers are used unsustainably then areas can become increasingly arid as water resources are used up.
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