Climate Types‎ > ‎Deserts‎ > ‎

Environmental Issues

The desert areas are growing in size due to a process called desertification. This happens because:
  • land has dried up as the Earth's climate has warmed;
  • less rain has fallen, killing trees and grasses on the edges of deserts;
  • overgrazing of animals has meant the land has become bare;
  • an increase in population has forced people to grow crops on unsuitable land, making it become exhausted and prone to soil erosion.


As it becomes harder for people find food and water in the deserts, widespread famines and droughts can occur. In Somalia in Africa, 2 million people were forced to leave their homes and become refugees in the neighbouring country of Ethiopia to survive a drought in 2011.

Oxfam East Africa - A mass grave for children in Dadaab

In Egypt, the Aswan High Dam was built in the early 1900s to provide irrigation for the local farmers and many people have built their own anti-sand shields to stop dunes from spreading.

Aswan High Dam-1     North Sahara. Anti-sand shields