What Are the Effects of Desertification?

effects-desertification Credit: Bernt Rostad/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Desertification causes a high-risk of crop failure, low economic returns on crops, a build-up of salt in the soil and the accidental burning of semiarid vegetation. This process turns usable desert land into unusable land due to poor land management.

Desertification limits the land's ability to support life, which affects both wildlife and people. The removal of plants and the reduction of plant cover lead to advanced soil erosion and increase the chance of raindrop impact and runoff. Desertification is a self-continuing process. Once it starts on a specific area of land, the conditions set are ideal for continual deterioration. Desertification causes damage to approximately 12 million hectares of land per year.