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According to the president of the UN Conference on Desertification, Alain-Richard Donwahi, the world may face a particularly severe food crisis sooner than expected. Photo: Racaille1950 Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)Photo: Racaille1950 Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

UN official: “A great climate-related food crisis is coming sooner than expected”

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This was stated by the president of the UN Conference on Desertification, Alain-Richard Donwahi. Climate change and poor agricultural practices impacting soil health are crucial factors
Mediterranean forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services. Photo: Elina Tzivara Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)Elina Tzivara Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Mediterranean forests face desertification risk

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In the past, forests around the Mediterranean Sea partly turned into steppes within a few decades as precipitation rates changed. Today, a German research explains, this scenario could happen again
Drip irrigation is a practice of great importance for smart agricultural management. Photo: H. Gomez/CIMMYT Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)H. Gomez/CIMMYT Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Algorithms drive irrigation in smart agriculture

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In an attempt to make irrigation more efficient, Stanford University has developed a new and more accurate system for calculating evapotranspiration. Measurement is shortened by 100 times
Climate change causes soil to lose moisture faster on average. Photo: Suhayb the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)Suhayb the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Soil moisture is a key factor in predicting droughts and floods

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According to a study from U.S., variation in soil moisture is the crucial factor in understanding extreme phenomena such as droughts and floods and Overcoming uncertainty related to climate change
The Gansu Province. Stretching from Central Asia to the northeast of the country, the desertification-prone region in China covers an area of more than 1.2 million km2. Photo: Robert Thomson Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)Robert Thomson Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

“China must change direction in its anti-desertification strategy”

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The actions promoted in China in the 21st century have reportedly produced limited benefits, a recent study finds. Among other things, Beijing's "Grain for Green" plan has decreased the incomes of farmers and herders. Other natural factors have mainly weighed on land regeneration
Flash droughts may be a prelude to a long-term water crisis. Photo: ©EU/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)©EU/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Flash droughts are becoming the new normal

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In six decades, flash droughts have increased in 74 percent of the Planet's regions, says a Chinese study. Climate change remains the main critical factor
Data from the Joint Research Centre snapshot the health of the continental soil showing numbers in line with past predictions. Photo: François Molle/IRD Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)François Molle/IRD Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

61% of European soil is unhealthy, JRC confirms

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Joint Research Centre data snapshot the health of continental soils, showing numbers in line with past predictions. Organic carbon reduction, biodiversity loss and peatland deterioration are the most widespread problems
In Central Asia, agriculture and livestock are the sectors that contribute the most to GDP. Photo: Gennadiy Ratushenko / World Bank Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Gennadiy Ratushenko / World Bank Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Central Asia will keep on suffering from agricultural drought for a long time

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Chinese researchers believe that soil drought linked to climate change can no longer be offset by weather cycles. A challenge for the region's crops and economy
Sacks of gum arabic at the market in Al Obaied, Sudan. The country is the world's second-largest producer of this resin extracted from acacia and used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Photo: Salahaldeen Nadir / World Bank Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Salahaldeen Nadir / World Bank Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In Sudan, gum arabic cultivation promotes soil conservation

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As the world's second-largest producer of gum arabic, Sudan is called upon to protect acacia trees, the plants from which the substance is generated and which have always proved an effective weapon in countering desertification
The spread of droughts is linked to rising temperatures. In 2022, the number of times negative monthly precipitation records were broken was the third highest since 1979. Photo: bluesbby from Mountain View, USA Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)bluesbby from Mountain View, USA Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The water cycle has changed. And it favors floods and droughts

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Extreme rainfall concentrated in short periods is becoming more frequent just like months characterized by exceptionally low rainfall, scientists from the Global Water Monitor Consortium explain. Growth in duration and severity of heat waves causes "flash droughts" especially in Europe and China