A newly launched research project is working to fight the phenomenon with new conservation strategies.
Funded under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), the DESIRE project is international, bringing together 28 research institutes, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and policy-makers from around the world.
The aim of the €9 million project is to come up with alternative strategies for the use and protection of these vulnerable areas.
'Fragile arid and semi-arid ecosystems are in urgent need of integrated conservation approaches that can prevent and reduce widespread degradation,' said the coordinator of the project, Professor Coen Ritsema from the Alterra Wageningen University & Research Centre, the Netherlands.
The team of researchers has identified 18 hotspots from southern Europe to Australia, Chile and the United States of America, covering a wide range of problems, from soil erosion by wind or water, to salinisation and droughts or flash floods.
These hotspots will be the 'global laboratory' for researchers to apply both tested conservation techniques and remediation measures, and find new and innovative approaches to combat desertification.
The project will begin by making an inventory of local knowledge. Working with local residents, the scientists will study the methods and techniques used to prevent land degradation in that region and combine them with new scientific insights.
The researchers hope that this close collaboration of scientists with local stakeholder groups will lead to acceptable and feasible conservation techniques. Ultimately, the DESIRE project should lead to practical guidelines for responsible land use.
'We want to test new methods at these hotspots and follow the results long-term,' says Professor Retsima.
In addition, a web-based information system of 'best management practices' will be made available to target groups.
Virginia Mercouri | alfa
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences