What threatens the steppes and deserts?

Leonid Veselov
Leonid Veselov
April 11, 2012
What threatens the steppes and deserts?

Today, dear reader, we will tell you about what threatens the steppes and deserts in the modern world. We will also consider whether we ourselves are a danger to them.

What threatens the steppes

The main threat to the steppes is soil erosion. Wind erosion blows away the fertile layer of soil, and water leaches nutrients, leaving behind channels, which eventually turn into ditches and ravines. Much more erosion threatens the steppes in conjunction with the anthropogenic factor, when a person recklessly conducts their economic activity, without the use of anti-erosion measures. Such activity enhances natural erosion processes to a destructive scale.

An example of this human activity is the exploration of the great plains and a sharp increase in the area of ​​arable land in the United States after the First World War. Extensive farming led to the desiccation of lands and the reduction of their erosion resistance, which caused a series of catastrophic dust storms between 1930 and 1940.A series of storms, dubbed the “Dust Cauldron,” entailed a massive population relocation from the prairies to the USA and from the countryside to cities in Canada.

The man himself is increasingly threatening the steppes. The anthropogenic factor is not only in agriculture, but also in the destruction of the fauna of steppe eco-systems. Poaching, hunting, pollution of the steppes with wastes - all of this threatens the ecological balance. And more recently, the Kyoto process began to threaten the steppes in Russia. After in 2007, the Agricultural Board decided to create carbon-bearing plants. Huge funds are allocated for plantings, and people are not very concerned about how such activities will affect the ecology of the steppes.

What threatens deserts

Few people think about what threatens deserts, because deserts are perceived as a threat, and even the UN is actively working to counter land desertification. However, this is not about absolutely lifeless deserts, like, for example, the Sahara, but about deserts, in which in the course of evolution unique forms and types of life took shape. Such are the deserts of South America, Africa and Asia, where flora and fauna have an amazing adaptability to the most difficult living conditions.

This method, which has a unique ecological balance, is threatened by the drying of soils and the depletion of groundwater sources. Rapid climate change, combined with human activity, contributes to the extinction of unique species from lack of moisture and nutrition. Such deserts are the front line in the UN’s fight against desertification of land.