The Archaeology of Drylands: Living at the Margin (One World by Graeme Barker, David Gilbertson

By Graeme Barker, David Gilbertson

Many dryland areas include archaeological continues to be which recommend that there should have been in depth levels of payment in what now appear to be dry and degraded environments. This e-book discusses successes and screw ups of previous land use and payment in drylands, and contributes to wider debates approximately desertification and the sustainability of dryland payment.

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Dallas, Southern Methodist University, two volumes. 2 The dynamic climatology of drylands GREG SPELLMAN DEFINING DRYLANDS Surprisingly, given that the critical and unifying variable for dryland environments is a shortage of water on a seasonal or longer-term basis, there has been a long-standing difficulty in determining their geographical extent (Beaumont, 1989; Wallen, 1967), though it is generally estimated that hyper-arid, arid and semi-arid lands in total cover a third of the Earth’s land surface (UNEP, 1992; see Fig.

CLIMATIC CHARACTERISTICS Precipitation By definition, all dryland areas receive low annual precipitation, and in most dryland areas, as rainfall amounts diminish, there is a corresponding increase in variability and unreliability (Le Houerou, 1996). Mean values, therefore, do not adequately describe the true nature of the precipitation regime, because annual totals will show significant year- The dynamic climatology of drylands 21 to-year departures from long-term norms. Nir (1974), for instance, mentions a rain event frequency of once every eight years at certain sites in the Sahara and once every eighteen years in Peru.

Sinking air will also prevent significant depth of thermal convection, despite high radiation receipt and subsequent strong surface heating under clear skies. Dryland areas are centred beneath the subtropical anticyclones in both hemispheres. Wind direction is also important: air flowing over the interior of a continent has a reduced opportunity to absorb moisture at its base, so strong stability and low humidities will develop in the lower levels. In the northern hemisphere, dry northeasterly winds (the returning flow of the Hadley Cell circulation) contribute to much of the aridity of The dynamic climatology of drylands 25 Southwest Asia and the Middle East.

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