• Assessing the Environmental Impact of Climate Change on Desert Ecosystems: A Review

    Latifa S. Al-Blooshi1, Salem Issa2, Taoufik Ksiksi3

    1. Biology Department – UAE University, PO. Box 15551, Al-Ain, UAE.
    2. Geology Department – UAE University, PO. Box 15551, Al-Ain, UAE.
    3. Biology Department – UAE University, PO. Box 15551, Al-Ain, UAE.

    Abstract: Human population is interrelated with the demand of fuel, water and food. This is consequently leading to increasing rates of energy use and therefore greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Globally, the atmospheric concentrations of GHG have increased by approximately 35% for carbon dioxide, 148% for methane, and 14% for nitrous oxide. Desert ecosystems, in particular, are highly variable and unpredictable, where organisms and humans have utilized arid environments regardless of their naturally uncertain availability of resources. The fast spread of desertification has led to environmental degradation, unstable local political situations and economic losses. The extreme weather events in the past two decades caused many loses in terms of ecosystem alteration, economic impacts as well as social influences. Dryland communities adapt to dynamic climatic and environmental conditions due to rainfall variability. Unfortunately, climate change impact is not fully understood. The effects of climate change on species diversity is generally slow, but these effects are expected to show rapid progress over the next 50 years and beyond. Remote sensing and GIS based models allow simulating the change in particular landscape elements over time and space, and investigating different types of future scenarios. The information represented in this paper aims to give a review and discussion of the impact of climate change on arid and semi-arid regions to the researchers, ecologists and decision makers. There is a lack of resources about the impact of climate change on the Arabian Gulf region in particular. Therefore, we hope that this review will simulate researchers in the region and worldwide to conduct their research and focus their studies on this region.

    Keywords: Carbon dioxide, Climate change, Deserts, Ecosystems, Soil.

    Pages: 27 – 52 | Full PDF Paper