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Desertification Russia


In the 20th century, desertification observed over the Russian arid lands was predominantly anthropogenic. These lands do not belong to the climatic desertification zone. Their aridization (i.e., decline in moisture content) is just sporadically maintained by climatic factors in the years of dangerous droughts (1).

At the end of the 21st century, if the arid warming (i.e., warming accompanied by a decrease in moistening) occurs over the European part of Russia, the aridity of climate will increase in the forest steppe, steppe, and semi-desert zones. Steppes of the Krasnodar Territory and the Rostov region will become dryer. An excessive land-use load on arid lands under changing climate may cause disastrous local desertification (1).

Adaptation strategies

Rational control of land use in arid areas, with the interactions of anthropogenic and climatic factors of desertification taken into account, may be an efficient adaptation measure (1).


The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Russia.

  1. Roshydromet (2008)