Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

India, too, is shrinking!

Posted by feww on June 18, 2014

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Nearly 2/3 of India Undergoing Desertification, or Land Degradation

More than a quarter of  India’s total land is undergoing desertification, while over a third is facing degradation that has affected its productivity, critically affecting the livelihood and food security of hundreds of millions people across the country, said a report.

About 105.2 million hectares (Mha), or 35.5% of India’s total land area, is being degraded, while 82.2 Mha, or 27.7%,  is undergoing desertification.

Nearly 70 percent of land in India is dry and therefore prone to drought, making it vulnerable to water and wind erosion, salinization and water logging, according to a 2007 report prepared by Indian Space Research Organization.

Soil erosion accounts for about 72 percent of the total degradation in the country, while wind erosion causes over 10 percent of the damage, said the report. Water-logging and salinity/alkalinity are also responsible for the erosion, according to the latest National Report on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought.

The worst affected areas are the states of Rajasthan with 23 Mha desrtified, followed by Gujarat, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir(13 Mha each) and Orissa and Andhra Pradesh (5 Mha each).

“Desertification and loss of biological potential will restrict the transformation of dry lands into productive ecosystem. Climate change will further challenge the livelihood of those living in these sensitive ecosystem and may result in higher levels of resource scarcity,” the report warns.

About 146.82 Mha of the country is severely affected by various kinds of land degradation including water erosion (93.68 Mha), wind erosion (9.48 Mha), waterlogging (14.30 Mha), salinity/alkalinity (5.94 Mha), soil acidity (16.04 Mha) and other causes (7.38 Mha).

Occupying only 2 percent of the world, India is home to 17 percent of the its population.

[NOTE: India’s total area is about 3,287,590 km², including 9.6 percent water. However, the official report incorrectly calculates the total area, which makes the percentage of land affected by desertification and degradation smaller than the actual size.]

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