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Climate Research

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CR 17:209-216 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/cr017209

Soil degradation, global warming and climate impacts

Johannes J. Feddema*, Sergio Freire

Department of Geography, 213 Lindley Hall, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA

ABSTRACT: A water balance model is used to assess the relative impacts of global warming and soil degradation scenarios on water resources in the future. Results indicate that overall global warming will have a more widespread and greater impact on climate change. However soil degradation could also play a significant role in water resource issues in the future. Based on the model results, wet and dry climate regions are particularly susceptible to impacts from soil degradation. In general, reduced water holding capacities will result in increased water runoff during wet periods, which will result in higher overland flow rates and reduced recharge rates to groundwater. Water lost to runoff will also increase deficits during dry periods, in effect increasing the duration and intensity of dry periods.

KEY WORDS: Climate change · Soil degradation · Africa

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