Desertification: Greenhouse Effect

Authored by: Sherwood Idso , Craig Idso

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



What is the impact of the ongoing rise in the air’s carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration on the ecological stability of the world’s deserts and the shrubs and grasslands that surround them? This question weighs heavily on the minds of many, as the nations of the Earth debate the pros and cons of the prodigious CO2 emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels. On the downside, there is concern that more CO2 in the air will exacerbate the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect, producing changes in climate that lead to desertification. On the upside, the aerial fertilization effect of additional atmospheric CO2 may enhance plant prowess, increasing plant water use efficiency and enabling vegetation to reclaim great tracts of desert. The challenge, therefore, is to determine the relative merits of these competing phenomena.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.