Will climate change increase desertification

This project will use a combination of satellite vegetation data and climate observations and projections to determine if and where climate change will lead to desertification.

Supervisors: Jason Evans and Arden Burrell

Synopsis

Both changes in climate and changes in land use can lead to desertification. Using observations of vegetation change from satellites and climate observations we have developed a technique (TSS-RESTREND) to quantify hoe much climate change contributed to past cases of desertification. This project will extend this technique for use with climate projections to determine where future climate change could lead to desertification.

Aims

The project aims to identify the locations and quantify the extent to which future climate change could lead to desertification.

The student will learn how to:

  • Manipulate large datasets (programming skills are required)
  • Understand the processes that can lead to desertification
  • Understand how to interpret and use climate projections