“Postfaktisch” ist Wort des Jahres

Die schlimmen Dauer-Dürren der Sahelzone aus den 1970er und 80er Jahren sind zum Glück vorüber. Das Klima ist dort wieder feuchter geworden. Forscher der Universität Stockholm machten nun eine überraschende Entdeckung: Die größte Profiteure des feuchteren Sahel-Klimas sind jene Organismen, die sich auf Dürrebedingungen spezialisiert haben. Hier die Pressemitteilung der Universität vom 19. Oktober 2016:

Drought-tolerant species thrive despite returning rains in the Sahel
Following the devastating droughts in the 70s and 80s in the Sahel region south of the Sahara desert, vegetation has now recovered. What surprises the researchers is that although it is now raining more and has become greener, it is particularly the more drought resistant species that thrive instead of the tree and shrub vegetation that has long been characteristic of the area. This is shown in a study from Stockholm University published in the journal Land Use Policy. The conclusion is that not only rain but also agriculture and human utilization of trees, bushes and land affect the plants recovering.

The expected pattern is that a drier climate favours drought resistant species, and that a wetter climate makes it possible for species that require more rainfall to thrive. A new study, however, shows the opposite effect; that a shift to more drought tolerant species is occurring, even though it’s raining more. This shows that the recent regreening of the Sahel region can not only be explained by the fact that it rains more, which until now has been the dominant explanation.

“What we see is the beginning of a fairly dramatic change in the traditional agroforestry landscape in the area. Although it is not yet possible to say exactly what the consequences are for local livelihood and conservation, these are important issues that we will continue to work with. By, for example, examining what people in the area use different trees and shrubs for and look at how the landscape changes, we can better understand how land use, social change, climate and ecosystems interact, even in ways that can be unexpected”, says Lowe Börjeson, Associate Professor at the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University.

The study suggests that an understanding of how human use of the landscape interact with climate and ecosystem processes is important for organizations that want to develop strategies for climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation and local development in one of the world’s poorest regions.

Facts about the Sahel region

The Sahel is a semi-arid belt of land in Africa south of the Sahara and north of the wetter areas to the south. The Sahel extends east from the Atlantic Ocean through northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Niger, northeastern Nigeria, Chad and the Sudan. Most of the Sahel region consists of savannah.

The recurrent droughts in the 1970s and 1980s had disastrous consequences for agriculture, livestock and the environment in the area, with widespread ​​famine as a result. The drought in the region also gave rise to a global discussion and concern for desertification as an emerging environmental problem. In recent years, research has shown that the area since the 1980s, has instead become greener aw the vegetation has recovered.

More about the study

The study, “Drought-tolerant species dominate as rainfall and tree cover returns in the West African Sahel”, which is published in the journal Land Use Policy is available here.

—————-

Die Klimaerwärmung lässt schön grüßen: Schnee im November 2016 in Saudi Arabien. Siehe Bericht auf rt.com.

—————-

Stöbertipp in Alfred Brandenbergers Klima-Fundgrube: Verweigerung der Klimadiskussion

—————-

Leser unseres Blogs werden über den Ausgang der folgenden Wahl wenig überrascht sein: Die Tagesschau meldete am 16. November 2016:

“Postfaktisch” ist Wort des Jahres
[...] Die Oxford Dictionaries haben das Wort “post-truth” (postfaktisch) zum internationalen Wort des Jahres 2016 gewählt. Das teilte der Verlag auf seiner Webseite mit. Das Adjektiv beschreibe Umstände, in denen die öffentliche Meinung weniger durch objektive Tatsachen als durch das Hervorrufen von Gefühlen und persönlichen Überzeugungen beeinflusst werde, heißt es in einem Auszug aus dem Wörterbuch.

Ganzen Beitrag auf tagesschau.de lesen.