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15 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What % of Spain is classified as arid? What does this make it?
The driest country in Europe
in 2008 what % of it was classified as being at risk from desertification?
37% (18% at high or v high risk)
what are the most vulnerable areas in Spain?
Andalusia and Murcia
What are the three main causes of desertification?
-climate change
What has increased the rate of evapotranspiration and by how much?
Increase in av temp (1.5ºC in last 100 yrs)
By how much has rate of rainfall decreased in Andalusia?
9.5% between 1991 and 2000
What is the resulting effect of decreased rainfall and higher temps?
Reduced surface water resources
Leads to falling groundwater levels
Less water means less plants
Less plants, less roots, less soil stability
Less soil stability, more soil erosion
More soil erosion, more desertification
Another disastrous effect of hotter climate.
Increased risk of forest fires, leading to deforestation and desertification.
Name three agriculture methods that are causing desertification in Southern Spain.
Lowering groundwater levels
What knock-on effect does over-cultivation cause that ultimately causes desertification?
Nutrient levels to drop to the point where it is no longer productive. This reduces soil stability and makes it more prone to wind and water erosion.
80 million tonnes of topsoil is lost every year in Andalusia due to the intensive cultivation of olive trees.
Overgrazing has a similar effect to over-cultivation. What is it?
Reduced vegetation cover which reduces stability, no roots, which means wind erosion is more effective.
Groundwater resources are being used to irrigate crops. This is causing lowering groundwater levels. Increasingly groundwater is used for irrigation. Why?
-Agriculture being carried out in areas unsuitable for it. Almeria contributes $1.5 billion to the economy every year yet agriculture only possible there with intensive irrigation.
-Crops needing more water than can be supplied are being grown for export. e.g. strawberries; Spain produces 95% of EUs export of strawberries.
Another reason for desertification in Spain is development. Describe the recent developments in Spain.
Tourism has increased exponentially in the last 50 years. In the last few years 180,000 holiday homes have been built every year along the coast.
What is major effect by pressure from tourism, contributing to desertification?
Pressure on water supply to supply swimming pools, water parks, golf courses.
Why is the management in place not working and water levels are depleting further?
People classify their villas as 'farms' and the grass on golf courses 'crops' ensuring they are allocated water as farmers are. Not only does it deplete water levels but it reduces availability for farms, reducing their productivity.