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Aridification is the process of a region becoming increasingly arid, or dry. It refers to long term change,[1] rather than seasonal variation.

It is often measured as the reduction of average soil moisture content. It can be caused by reduced precipitation, increased evaporation, lowering of water tables, and changes in ground cover acting individually or in combination. Its major consequences include reduced agricultural production, soil degradation, ecosystem changes and decreased water catchment runoff.[2]

Some researchers have found that the Colorado River basin and other parts of western North America are currently undergoing aridification.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Heidari, Hadi; Arabi, Mazdak; Warziniack, Travis; Kao, Shih-Chieh (2020). "Assessing Shifts in Regional Hydroclimatic Conditions of U.S. River Basins in Response to Climate Change over the 21st Century". Earth's Future. 8 (10): e2020EF001657. Bibcode:2020EaFut...801657H. doi:10.1029/2020EF001657. ISSN 2328-4277.
  2. ^ "GLASOD Classification of Soil Degradation" (PDF). United Nations ESCAP. February 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2019-09-04.
  3. ^ Erickson, Jim (May 19, 2020). "But it's a dry heat: Climate change and the aridification of North America". University of Michigan. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  4. ^ Overpeck, Jonathan T.; Udall, Bradley (2020). "Climate change and the aridification of North America". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117 (22): 11856–11858. Bibcode:2020PNAS..11711856O. doi:10.1073/pnas.2006323117. PMC 7275756. PMID 32430321. S2CID 218758593.