Environment Management: Arid Regions

1263 Words6 Pages
This essay will look at the typical nature of arid regions and will look at the impacts to the environment through management from societies living in these areas.
First of all, arid “refers to areas where the climate is extremely dry. Such climates were defined as being areas with less than 250mm of precipitation per year, but in reality this is too simple.” (Skinner et al 2007 p12) The arid zone is characterized by excessive heat and inadequate, variable precipitation. Thornthwaite in 1931, was the first to define an aridity index using the relationship between precipitation and (potential) evapotranspiration, supported by Waugh (1990). However unlike conditions in temperate regions, the rainfall in arid zones differs between seasons. Rabat in Morocco, receives rain during the winter, while the summer is almost null of rainfall. It also varies from one year to another- The difference between the lowest and highest rainfall recorded in years can be significant, but it is usually within a range of 50 per cent of the mean. The variation in monthly rainfall is even bigger. Rainfall and temperature are the biggest factors for aridity, other factors have some smaller influences too. The moisture in the air has effects on the water balance in the soil. When the moisture content in the soil is higher than in the air, this causes water in the soil to evaporate into the air Humidity is generally low in arid zones. “Because of the scarcity of vegetation that can reduce air movements, arid regions typically are windy.” (Waugh 1990 p152) Winds remove the moist air around the plants and soil and, cause an increase in evapotranspiration. Finally, the vegetation cover in arid zones is mainly baron, vegetative growth in arid zones is growth t...

... middle of paper ...

...2e03.htm (accessed 15/02/2014)

Fig 1. Developments that lead to a downward spiral of desertification. From Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005): Ecosystems and Human Well-Being. Desertification Synthesis. (Accessed Feb 2014)

Land Degradation in Arid regions Environmental science in the 21st century –and online textbook. available at: http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/environment-book/aridlanddegradation.html (accessed 16/02/2014)

Laity J. Deserts and Desert Environments (2008) Wiley-Blackwell

Skinner M, Redfern D, Farmer G. (2008) Complete A-Z Geography Handbook 3rd edition Hodder & Stoughton

Water and climate change: improving access and management in semiarid Brazil ELLA from Latin America http://ella.practicalaction.org/sites/default/files/111104_ENV_AdaSemReg_BRIEF1.pdf (accessed (17/02/2014)

Waugh, D. Geography an Integrated Approach (1990) Neilson
Open Document