To get them to move and sell off their herd of more than 70 sheep, 30 cows and eight camels, the officials have offered an annual subsidy equivalent to $1,500 for each of her parents and $1,200 for a grandmother who lives with them. Beijing Shanghai Gobi Desert China Map Dalian Chengdu Ancient China Interesting History We The People This project, also known as the Three-North Shelter Forest Programme, is being carried out in the North, Northeast and Northwest of China. Last year, the company that operates the park paid students to build seven giant sand sculptures as its centerpiece. It is designed to halt the expansion of the Gobi Desert. But the oasis, which is the main attraction, is shrinking. There are now dunes forming just 44 miles from Beijing, and some estimates put the Gobi’s crawl south toward the capital at a … “The sand and wind make life tough here. Nearly 27% of China’s land area is comprised of deserts. Around 200 lakes dried up in about 20 years.Then in 2010, the staff of the Tibetan Sustainable Environmental Resources for Increased Economic Growth (TSERING) program taught villagers how … Ms. Du said the water level had been declining. Increasing desertification has threatened nearly 400 million Chinese citizens living on the nation’s agricultural periphery. He herds the sheep toward the old family home, where he can give the animals water. Following the creation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, the Communist State attempted to alter nature. Oct. 24, 2016. Mengkebuyin uses a motorcycle and a desert buggy to drive the sheep to graze. Taklimakan Desert covers 337,000 square kilometers, slightly smaller than the size of Germany. Many people in this area are from families that fled Minqin, at the western end of the Tengger Desert, during China’s Great Famine from 1958 to 1962, when tens of millions died. Sign up to receive our in-depth journalism about climate change around the world. It is also the world's second-largest shifting sand desert. Nearly 20 percent of China is desert, and drought across the northern region is getting worse. Many villages have been lost. Kiki Zhao and Sarah Li contributed research. China's expanding deserts on a collision course with its cities By Josh Haner , Edward Wong , Derek Watkins and Jeremy White Updated October 24, 2016 — 3.56pm first published at 2.19pm Around 27% of China is covered in desert. They actually planted 66 billion trees. The expanding desert is taking over farmlan... Report on the Chinese Gobi Desert which is increasing in size as more parts of China's land are turned to desert. Nearly 20 percent of China is desert, and drought across the northern region is getting worse. Their research shows that deserts expanded in China from 1994 to 1999… Dust storms have increased in frequency in the past 20 years, causing further damage to China's agriculture economy. Authorities worry that expanding deserts could put crops and water supplies in the world's second largest economy at risk. The New York Times.-deserts.html The Tengger Desert lies on the southern edge of the massive Gobi Desert, not far from major cities like Beijing. Instead of creating a forest, it expanded the desert. He has his corn and wheat fields, plus income from running the tourist park. Many of the oases in the Tengger are drying up. “We must fight it. By JOSH HANER, EDWARD WONG, DEREK WATKINS and JEREMY WHITE. China says government efforts to relocate residents, plant trees and limit herding have slowed or reversed desert growth in some areas. And they can pay to eat in the round Mongolian tents, called gers. About 17 percent of the population in Alxa League are ethnic Mongolians, whose lives and livelihoods have long been tied to the herding the government is trying to halt. The desert areas are scattered among 12 provincial-level regions in north China. “The soil is not as soft or good as it was before,” she said. I had no idea that there was even a desert expansion issue occurring in China until i found this article. By planting certain pine trees and covering areas with a single species of tree, the government allowed China’s peripheral deserts to expand. A Remote Pacific Nation, Threatened by Rising Seas, Climate Change Claims a Lake, and an Identity. Population data from WorldPop. But some experiments suggest moderate grazing may actually mitigate the effects of climate change on grasslands, and China’s herder relocation policies could be undermining that. Desertification is a type of land degradation in drylands in which biological productivity is lost due to natural processes or induced by human activities whereby fertile areas become increasingly arid. Mr. Guo took saplings that the government had left behind after it completed a tree planting operation. Across northern China, generations of families have made a living herding animals on the edge of the desert. The Gobi Desert is expanding at an alarming rate through desertification, most rapidly on the southern edge into China, which is seeing 3,600 km 2 (1,390 sq mi) of grassland overtaken every year. This led to a sharp rise in the rate of desertification. Nearly 20 percent of China is desert, and drought across northern China is getting worse. The expanding desert has threatened agricultural development and the environment of local people. Jiali’s mother, Du Jinping, 45, said the family would live in the new village in the winter, but return to Swan Lake in the summer. Storms of wind-driven sand have become increasingly frequent and intense, reaching Beijing and other large cities. This presents a political risk for the future as China is squeezed by the expanding desert. In China, nearly 20% of land area is desert. This process increased during the 1960s and had the tendency to eliminate both forests and grasslands. China's Environmental Protection Agency reports that the Gobi Desert expanded by 52,400 square kilometers (20,240 square miles) from 1994 to 1999, an area half the size of Pennsylvania. The first of these is a visual narrative about people living on the eastern edge of the expanding Tengger Desert. One recent estimate said China had 21,000 square miles … But the oasis, which is the main attraction, is shrinking. Josh Haner and Edward Wong reported from the Tengger Desert, and Derek Watkins and Jeremy White from New York. One of the most common issues of climate change in the media is that the polar ice caps are melting. It has messed up everything.”. Mengkebuyin, 42, and his wife, Mandula, 41, grow corn and sunflowers, but their 200 sheep provide most of their income: They sell the meat to a hotel restaurant in a nearby city. Climate change and human activities have accelerated desertification. “I don’t want my girl to return,” she said. Mengkebuyin and Mandula have decided that they want their 16-year-old daughter to live and work in a city. The family charges each tourist $4.50 to visit Swan Lake. Ms. Huang, 38, grows corn and tomatoes, some in greenhouse structures. Semi-arid land in China has expanded in recent decades and will probably continue to expand, with implications for food and water security. China now has the second largest desert in the world – the Taklimakan desert. An afforestation project to prevent the desert from expanding and to reduce the impacts of sand and dust storms on nearby residents was launched in Kekeya in 1986 and completed in 2015. Visitors also rent camels and dune buggies, and can pay to eat in the round Mongolian tents, called gers. Mengkebuyin uses a motorcycle and a desert buggy to drive the sheep to graze. Realizing its mistake, the government saw the desert areas expanding and embarked on an effort to reverse the damage by trying to the create a reforestation effort in 1978. Officials offer subsidies: Mr. Guo gets $600 per year for “grassland ecological protection.”, But farming is also becoming more difficult. But gradually, everyone left. Ms. Huang planted more than 200 trees on her own last spring, in the hope that they would help block sandstorms and hold back the sand. That is why we have decided to join in this titanic battle.” “The wind is fierce.”, The government encourages farmers like Mr. Guo because it says agriculture can help reclaim land from the desert. “The wind is fierce. “We dread the sandstorms,” Ms. Du said. per year, but in recent years, deserts are shrinking about 2,400-sq./km. Ms. Huang and her husband have sent their 14-year-old daughter to a boarding school in a nearby city. Photographs and drone videos by Josh Haner. China says government efforts to relocate residents, plant trees and limit herding have slowed or reversed desert growth in some areas. It’s not only a … People on the edges of the country’s vast seas of sand are being displaced by climate change. “They are all a mess now,” Mr. Guo said. Many villages have been lost. Edited by Hannah Fairfield and Jodi Rudoren. Living in China’s Expanding Deserts Josh Haner, Edward Wong, Derek Watkins, and Jeremy White. “They are all a mess now,” Mr. Guo said. Their attempt to reverse the trend had the exact opposite impact. In the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur … He said he was not ready to join the climate refugees. Instead of creating a forest, it expanded the desert. But strong desert winds steadily eroded them. Officials say that along with climate change, overgrazing is contributing to the desert’s growth. Officials have given Jiali and her family a home in a village about six miles from Swan Lake, the oasis where they run a tourist park. “We use more fertilizer now.”, Ms. Huang and her husband have sent their 14-year-old daughter to a boarding school in a nearby city. Notes and sources: Arid regions saw less than 250 millimeters of average annual precipitation from 1981 to 2013. However, while the intentions were good, the bottom-line result has been devastating. They will need new technology to grow food as we pointed out. This presents a political risk for the future as China is squeezed by the expanding desert. It is the spread of arid areas caused by a variety of factors, such as climate change (particularly the current global warming) and overexploitation of soil as a result of human activity. Jiali lives in an area called Alxa League, where the government has relocated about 30,000 people, who are called “ecological migrants,” because of desertification. Each year, desertification and drought account for US$42 billion loss in food productivity worldwide. Climate change and human activities have accelerated desertification. The sheep graze in the desert, where grass is growing scarce. Like Jiali’s family, many people herd animals and run small tourist parks on the edge of the Tengger Desert. Ma noted China is the first country to make sizable reductions of its desert territory. “I don’t want my girl to return,” she said. The water table in the soil dropped nearly 10 fold and most of the trees died. The family charges each tourist $4.50 to visit Swan Lake. Satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe via Google. The Tengger is growing. Young trees planted to hinder sandstorms and reverse desertification in the Xihu preservation area of the Gobi Desert, near Dunhuang, China. As the Tengger expands, it is merging with two other deserts to form a vast sea of sand that could become uninhabitable. He herds the sheep toward the old family home, where he can give the animals water. Thanks to a combination of exploitive agricultural practices, political mishaps, and changing patterns of migration, these deserts are expanding by nearly 10,000 km 2 a year. Many of the oases in the Tengger are drying up. Please upgrade your browser. The government introduced fast-growing pine and poplar trees that were not native to the region. There is a serious problem on the horizon for China. “The sand and wind make life tough here.”, “We’ll see what she wants to do when she finishes school.”. One recent estimate said China had 21,000 square miles more desert than what existed in 1975 — about the size of Croatia. China has spent decades curbing desertification through greening. Desertification is the gradual transformation of arable and habitable land into desert, usually caused by climate change and/or the improper use of land. « Germany on the Threshold of an Unprecedented Radicalization, Lagarde – Wants to Raise Retirement Age & Taxes ». This became known as the “Green Wall of China,” which was to be completed by 2050. In 1994, China’s forestry administration started monitoring the status of desertification nationally. Residents who live on the edge of the deserts try to limit the steady march of the sand. Approximately 2.6 million square meters of land in China consist of only sand or rock desert. Photo editing by Meaghan Looram. The Tengger is growing. “The desert is a spreading cancer,” Abdoulaye Wade, Senegal's president and the wall's standard bearer, said. At the end of the 20th Century, China's deserts were expanding at a pace - 10,000-sq./km. As China's military capabilities continue to rapidly expand and mature, so do the bases that support and test them. Precipitation data from Climate Hazards Group, University of California, Santa Barbara, via the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University. In the 1990s China’s deserts were expanding by 3,500 square kilometers every year, according to Luo Bin, deputy director of the National Bureau to Combat Desertification. An afforestation project to prevent the desert from expanding and to reduce the impacts of sand and dust storms on nearby residents was launched in Kekeya in 1986 and completed in 2015. But China’s densely populated areas are pushing toward the deserts, as the deserts grow toward the cities. Sandstorm data from the Data Sharing Network of Earth Systems Science via the Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University. We’ll see what she wants to do when she finishes school.”. They have moved to a village five miles away. These trees needed more water and sucked the region dry. Visitors also rent camels and dune buggies. They roam by his old family home, near the shores of a lake that dried up years ago. Only about 15% of the trees planted since 1949 have survived. He would like to move to better pasture, but the government will not allow it. In the Tengger Desert, China — This desert, called the Tengger, lies on the southern edge of the massive Gobi Desert, not far from major cities like Beijing. With the advancing Gobi now within 150 miles of Beijing, China's leaders are beginning to … But strong desert winds steadily eroded them. He would like to move to better pasture, but the government will not allow it. The Tengger is growing. Huang Chunmei, who grew up in the town of Tonggunao’er and now farms there, said the water table was two meters, or about six feet, below ground during her childhood, and “now, you have to dig four or five meters.”. One recent estimate said China had 54,400km2 more desert than what existed in 1975 — about the size of Croatia. Mengkebuyin and his wife maintain the old home but do not stay for long periods. The second is on the world’s … As the Tengger expands, it is merging with two other deserts to form a vast sea of sand that could become uninhabitable. That is a huge topic no doubt, but i feel as if the media has neglected many other occurrences of … Kiki Zhao and Sarah Li contributed research. China has intensified its efforts to halt the expansion of deserts with further huge investment and greenbelt projects. That is an area about seven times the size of Germany. China’s forests were cut down and used for fuel, lumber, and paper production for the billions of little red books that became rather notorious. For years, China’s deserts spread at an annual rate of more than 1,350 square miles. But the usefulness of those policies is debated by scientists, and deserts are expanding in critical regions. It is estimated that one-third of the earth is exposed to desertification, affecting millions of people worldwide. Additional video editing by Taige Jensen. Local governments in desert regions began relocating people away from the encroaching sands decades ago. China this week revealed plans to drastically expand an experimental weather modification program to cover an area of over 5.5 million square kilometers (2.1 million square miles) — … Guo Kaiming, 40, a farmer who also manages a tourist park at the edge of the Tengger Desert, planted rows of trees by a new cross-desert highway in June. annually. According to statistics released by the State Forestry Administration, China has 2.6 million square km of desert that accounts for 27 percent of the country’s total land area. For years, China’s deserts spread at an annual rate of more than 1,300 square miles. Last year, the company that operates the park paid students to build seven giant sand sculptures as its centerpiece. For years, China’s deserts spread at an annual rate of more than 1,300 square miles. China's Gobi Desert. Four generations of Mengkebuyin’s family lived by the lake in a thriving community. Along with local governments, they plant trees in an effort to block the wind and stabilize the soil. In the five years to 2010, the authors estimated the area of desert had shrunk by an annual average of 1,717 square kilometres. Expanding deserts are a global problem. Sandstorm severity calculated as winter storm hours over frequency. Josh Haner and Edward Wong reported from the Tengger Desert, and Derek Watkins and Jeremy White from New York. China’s Gobi Desert. Only about 15% of the trees planted since 1949 have survived. Their attempt to reverse the trend had the exact opposite impact. NYTimes.com no longer supports Internet Explorer 9 or earlier. 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