Asher Meir has alerted us to a news article titled “Desertification may have retarded global warming by as much as 20%” by Ehud Zion Waldoks which has appeared in the Jerusalem Post. Excerpts from the article read
“In an article published on Friday in the journal Science, Prof. Dan Yakir and Dr. Eyal Rotenberg of the Environmental Sciences and Energy Research Department discuss their analysis of findings from the Yatir Forest research station.”
“The desert reflects sunlight and releases infrared radiation, which has a cooling effect. And in a world in which desertification is continuing at a rate of about six million hectares a year, that news might have a significant effect on how we estimate the rates and magnitude of climate change. “
Of course there significant negative effects of desertification, including the loss of biodiversity and the creation of an environment for dust storms. The study does show though yet another example of the important role of human cased landscape processes within the climate system.