China’s desertification crisis is straining national cropland, putting the populous nation’s food and water supplies at risk.
About 1.73 million sq. km – nearly 25% of all land in China – is currently desert land or land that is becoming desert. A small portion of that land can be treated to reclaim soil fertility, but thus far investment has been insufficient.
Liu Tuo, head of Chinese anti-desertification efforts, estimates it would take 300 years to roll back the advancing desert in China, which could worsen further as a result of climate change. “Climate change could cause extreme weather, such as drought, which will have a very serious impact upon desertification,” he remarked at a recent news conference.
China has struggled with sky high food prices, and as industrialization grows and standard of living improves, these problems will likely worsen with time. Ensuring China’s population has access to secure water and agricultural resources is essential. Without sufficient attention, creeping desertification in China may become real crisis with significant impacts on food and water supplies. Read more…