In California, many people are noticing desertification this year. Desertification occurs when soil degradation leads to a sharp decline in soil biology and fertility is lost. Previously fertile areas become increasingly arid.
Perhaps we should take a lesson from China which has been working on soil health, using the concepts of soil biology and the local soil microbiome for decades.
An article in Interesting Engineering, says: Converting deserts into farmlands seems beneficial to agriculture, the economy, reforestation, and natural resource management. However, the impact of converting desert and grassland to arable land could have large-scale repercussions on the Earth’s climate, biodiversity, and overall ecological balance.
Positive repercussions! The author of the article probably believes he is attempting to be neutral, but if he understood the role of plant respiration in the small water cycle, he couldn’t help but become enthusiastic.
In 2017, Time Magazine wrote an article which described decade of trial and error – and success keeping trees and plants alive in the desert, which has resulted in massive transformation of the desert. China’s Greening of the Vast Kubuqi Desert is a Model for Land Restoration Projects Everywhere
This article made me want to buy some licorice to support the efforts.