Today the world is facing major problems that threaten the existence of human life itself. We all know global warming is the main cause of climate change that we see today. Global warming is a serious issue and all the world leaders are concerned about it. There are global summits held every year for discussing its harmful effects and to develop technology that could help us save our planet.

We are all taught that the main cause of global warming is the excessive use of fossil fuels in our vehicles and industries. The growing world population, rising towards ten billion people, is also affecting our planet. These are the most well known problems and steps are being taken to address these issues all around the world.

We are looking towards science and technology to solve these problems. Now there is no doubt that technology is the only means through which we could stop the use of harmful fossil fuels in our vehicles and industries. Such technology that uses solar or wind power to replace fossil fuels are known as green technology. Green technology is the future and innovation in this field should be encouraged.

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But apart from these problems there is another major culprit that is the major contributor of global warming. The least known and the least discussed problem that is responsible for climate change is desertification. Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert. Desertification only happens when we create too much uncovered or bare ground, there is no other cause. Today most of the land around the world is turning into deserts.

The area of land around the world where there is humidity all year, on these lands it is impossible to create bare ground. They cannot turn into deserts, no matter what because nature covers it up so quickly. But the environment where months of humidity is followed by months of dry season. These are the places where desertification is occurring. And such environment is found on almost two-third of the land around the world.

Carbon is present in the organic matter of the soil. So when you damage the soil it releases carbon, it goes back to the atmosphere. Desertification kills the fertility and productivity of the land. People think that it happens in the arid or semi-arid areas of the world. They think that there is no consequence on the grass lands in high rainfall area. But that is not true. The soil of many grass lands are covered with a crust of algae, leading to increased runoff and evaporation of water. These are the early signs of desertification that scientist have to recognize before it is too late. 

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We have never truly understood what causes desertification. But we are taught in our schools and universities that desertification is caused by livestock. Mostly because of the over grazing by sheep, cattle and other animals. But that is not true.

We have to keep in mind that the seasonal humidity environments of the world, the soil and vegetation developed with large number of grazing animals. And there were predators that developed with them, who would hunt and eat these herbivorous animals. The only defense that these grass eating animals have against their predators is to gather into herds. The larger a herd the safer an individual animal becomes. The large herds leave their droppings all over the land where they graze and once the grass is eaten they have to move on to a new location to find more food. It is this movement that prevents the over grazing of the plants and the tramping of their hooves ensure good cover of the soil.

Many environmental scientists are now using herds of livestock to mimic this natural process. And the result that they are getting is astounding. Many bare lands are covered by grass and other plants where they used the herds.     

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Burning fossil fuels is harmful for the environment, but desertification is not only causing global warming but it is also responsible for the hunger and sufferings of many poor populations around the world. And if we cannot stop the desertification of our lands we will never be able to stop global warming and climate change even if we eliminate the use of fossil fuels. The only hope for the future is to stop desertification and save our lands.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertification


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