Climate change will lead to a gradual increase in arid regions around the world. This conclusion was reached by a research group from the University of Washington, writes Nature. At the same time, despite the increase in the area of dry land, rainfall will periodically occur on them, which will allow the cultivation of certain types of crops.
Arid lands, which include savannahs, some meadows and artisanal areas, are important for livestock grazing that cannot be carried out on arable land. In addition, such sites occupy up to 41% of the Earth’s surface and support the lives of 38% of the population.
By 2100, the productivity of existing lands of this type will increase by 12%, as people will begin to use them more actively, but their total area will increase. Global warming will negatively affect such areas, since severe droughts are already negatively affecting their biodiversity, and more frequent fires reduce the possibility of processing carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere.
Scientists predict the growth of fires on the example of changes in precipitation in Australia, which consists almost entirely of drylands. In addition, the pastures of Mongolia have also deteriorated due to rising temperatures, reduced rainfall, and constant livestock walking.