Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 490477
Title A longer, closer, look at land degradation
Author(s) Bai, Z.G.; Dent, D.L.; Olsson, L.; Tengberg, A.; Tucker, C.; Yengoh, G.
Source Agriculture for Development 24 (2015)Special Issue on Soils. - ISSN 1759-0604 - p. 3 - 9.
Department(s) International Soil Reference and Information Centre
ICSU World Data Centre for Soils
ISRIC - World Soil Information
Publication type Article in professional journal
Publication year 2015
Abstract Arresting land degradation, not to mention remediation, requires long-term investment. Budgetary constraints mean that we have to prioritise, so decision makers need know exactly where and how severe is the degradation, and they need early warning to act in good time. The first global assessment using actual measurements was based on 23 years of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data at 8km resolution. Its aim was to identify black spots that should be investigated in the field – but hardly anybody did. The dataset now extends to 33 years, revealing both long-term trends and many reversals of trend. The areas hardest hit are sub-equatorial Africa, with outliers in the Ethiopian highlands and the Sahel; the Gran Chaco, Pampas and Patagonia; southeast Asia; the steppes from Moldova eastwards into Central Asia; the Russian far east and northeast China; and swaths of high-latitude forest. Since 2000, it has been possible to seamlessly scale up the coarse-resolution picture to 250m resolution using data from the Moderate- Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and to 30m resolution with Landsat. Now, thanks to commercial satellite data, we can zoom in, anywhere in the world, with 5m-resolution.
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