The Scale Factor in Relation to the Processes Involved in “Desertification” in Europe

  • A. T. Grove
Conference paper


Desertification in Europe is more appropriately called environmental degradation. Such degradation could conceivably be the outcome of natural events, man’s activities or interaction between the two. The processes involved and the appropriate responses to them can be considered in relation to the scale on which they operate.
  1. a)

    On the global scale of 108 Km2 we have evidence of a warming in this century to which artificially induced increase of atmospheric CO2 may have contributed. The research supported by the European Community might help to throw light on the nature of this phenomenon with particular regard to the environmental consequences for different regions within the Community.

  2. b)

    On the sub-continental scale of 106 Km2 environmental impact involves the atmosphere and oceans. “Acid precipitation” with its effects on vegetation, rivers and lakes is on the scale of the Community. Pollution of coastal waters from ship and urban sources is on a similar scale and deserves Community research and preventative measures.

  3. c)
    On the sub-national scale of 104Km2, processes of environmental degradation include accelerated erosion and sedimentation, soil salinisation, falling water-tables, deterioration of the plant cover and urban sprawl. Although these processes operate locally, in individual river basins for example, it can be argued that they have a Community-wide dimension.
    1. (i)

      The causes lie in changing socio-economic conditions within the Community.

    2. (ii)

      The problems involved are similar in quite widely separated areas. Collaborative research could provide the economical and speedy way to obtain results applicable in more than one Community country.



Environmental Degradation Arid Zone Urban Sprawl Tourist Receipt Community Country 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Dregne, H. (1983). Desertification of Arid Lands. Chur, Switzerland: Harwood Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Thirgood, J.V. (1981). Man and the Mediterranean Forest. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Haigh, N. (1984). EEC Environmental Policy and Britain. Environmental Data Services, London.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    O.E.C.D. (1980). The Impact of Tourism on the Environment. Paris.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mathieson, A. & Wall, G. (1982). Tourism: economic, physical and social impacts. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Doumas, C. (ed.) (1978 & 1980) Thera and the Aegean World, Volumes I & II. London: 105–109 Bishopgate.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Vita-Finzi, C. (1969). Mediterranean Valleys: Geological Change in Historical Time. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Butzer, K.W., Mirailles, I. & Mateu, J.F. (1983). Urban Geo-archaeology in Medieval Alzira (Prov. Valencia, Spain). Journal of Archaeology 10: 333–349.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. T. Grove
    • 1
  1. 1.Director of Centre for African Studies and Fellow of Downing CollegeCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations