Desertification in a Changing Climate with a particular attention to the Mediterranean countries

  • A. Berger
Conference paper


There is a duality between climate and general circulation. Southern Europe belongs at present to the dry summer Mediterranean climatic zone, situated between the woodland suboceanic climate of the cooltemperate zone, (which is related to the transient eddies associated to the polar front), and the dry climates of the high pressure subtropical belt. Any change in the general circulation resulting, for example, from changes in the boundary conditions which characterized it, will lead to a change of the overall climatic pattern. Such changes, as occured 125,000 YBP (peak of last interglacial), 18,000 YBP (maximum glacial advance of the Wurm), 9,000 YBP (peak of Holocene interglacial) and as expected from a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 in the mid-21th century, will be reviewed in order to stress the potential subsequent change in the vulnerability of the environment to desertification in these regions.


Soil Moisture General Circulation Model Mediterranean Basin Medieval Warm Period Royal Meteorological Society 
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.
    Adem, J., Berger, A., Gaspar, Ph., Pestiaux, P. and van Ypersele, J.P., 1984. Preliminary results on the simulation of climate during the last deglaciation with a thermodynamic model. In: “Milankovitch and Climate”, Berger A., Imbrie J., Hays J., Kukla G., Saltzman B. (Eds), D. Reidel Publ. Company, Dordrecht (Holland), pp. 527–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bach, W., 1982. Our Threathened Climate. D. Reidel Publ. Company, Dordrecht, Holland.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bach, W. and Jung, H.J., 1986. The effects of model-generated climatic changes due to a CO2 doubling on desertification processes in the Mediterranean area. This volume.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Berger, A.L., 1978. Long-term variations of daily insolation and Quaternary climatic changes. J. Atmos. Sci. 35(12), pp. 2362–2367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Berger, A.L., 1979a. Spectrum of climatic variations and their causal mechanisms. Geophysical Surveys, 3, pp. 351–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Berger, A.L., 1979b. Insolation signatures of Quaternary climatic changes, II Nuovo Cimento 2C(1), pp. 63–87.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Berger, A. (Ed.), 1981. Climatic Variations and Variability: Facts and Theories, Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland, 795pp.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Berger, A.L., 1983. Approach astronomique des variations paleoclimatiques: les variations mensuelles et en latitude de l’insolation de-130 000 à-100 000 et de-30 000 à aujourd’hui. Bull. Inst. Geol. Bassin d’Aquitaine, 34, pp. 7–26.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Berger, A., 1984. Man’s impact on climate. In: “The Climate of Europe: Past, Present and Future, Natural and Man Induced Climatic Changes: an European Perspective”, H. Flohn and R. Fantechi (Eds), pp. 134–197, D. Reidel Publ. Company, Dordrecht, Holland.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Berger, A.L., Imbrie, J., Hays, J., Kukla, G., Saltzman, B. (Eds), 1984. Milankovitch and Climate. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht (Holland).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bryson, R.A. and Murray, Th.J., 1977. Climates of Hunger, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Charney, J.G., 1975. Dynamics of deserts and drought in the Sahel. Quaterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 101(428), pp. 193–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Charney, J., Quirk, W.J., Chow, S.H. and Kornfield, J., 1977. A comparative study of the effects of albedo change on drought in the semi-arid regions. J. Atmos. Sci. 34, pp. 1366–1385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Climap, 1976. The surface of the ice-age Earth. Science 191, pp. 1131–1137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Climap,, 1981. Seasonal reconstructions of the Earth’s surface at the last glacial maximum. Geological Society of America, Map and Chart Series MC-36.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Duplessy, J.C1., Ruddiman, W.F., 1984. La fonte des calottes glaciaires. La Recherche 15, pp. 806–818.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Flohn, H., 1980. Possible Climatic Consequences of a man-made Global Warming. IIASA RR-80-30.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Frenzel, B., 1973. Climatic Fluctuations of the ice Age. Press of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland and London.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gates, W.L., 1976. Modeling the ice-age climate. Science 191, pp. 1138–1144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Goossens, Chr., 1983. Evaluation of the statistical significance of climatic changes. In: “Second International Meeting on Statistical Climatology”, pp. 14.6.1-14.6.8, Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia e Geofisica, Lisbon 26/09-30/09/83.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Goossens, Chr., 1985. Analysis of Mediterranean rainfall. J. of Climatology 5, in press.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hammer, C.V., Clausen, H.B., Dansgaard, W., Gundestrup, N., Johnsen, S.J., Reeh, N., 1978. Dating of Greenland ice cores by flow models, isotopes, volcanic debris and continental dust. J. of Glaciology 20(82), pp. 3–26.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hare, K., 1983. Climate and Desertification. World Climate program n°44, Geneva.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jones, P.D. and Kelly, P.M., 1981–1982. Decadal surface temperature maps for the twentieth century. Parts 1 to 5. Climate Monitor 10(5), 11 (1 to 4). Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich (England).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kutzbach, J. and Guetter, P.T., 1984. Sensitivity of late glacial and Holocene climates to the combined effects of orbital parameter changes and lower boundary condition changes. Annals of Glaciology 5, in press.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lamb, H., 1977. Climate: Present, Past and Future. Vol. 2, Methuen, London.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Landsberg, H.E. (Ed.), 1970. World Survey of Climatology, vol. 5-6, Elsevier Publ. Company.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lorenz, E.N., 1967. The Nature and Theory of the General Circulation of the Atmosphere. World Meteorological Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lough, J.M., Wigley, T.M.L., Palutikoff, J.P., 1983. Climate and climate impact scenarios for Europe in a warmer world. J. of Climate and Applied Meteorology, 22(10), pp. 1673–1684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Manabe, S. and Hahn, D.G., 1977. Simulation of the Tropical Climate of an Ice Age. J. Geophysical Research 82(27), pp. 3889–3911.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Manabe, S., Wetherald, R.J., Stouffer, R.J., 1981. Summer dryness due to an increase of atmopsheric CO2 concentration. Climatic Change 3(4), pp. 347–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Mason B.J., 1978. Recent advances in the numerical prediction of weather and climate. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A. 36(3), pp. 297–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Mintz, Y., 1981. The sensitivity of numerically simulated climates to land surface conditions. JSC Study Conference on “Land Surface processes in Atmospheric General Circulation Models”, WCRP, Geneva, pp. 109–114.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Mitchell, J.F.B., 1976–1977. Effect on climate of changing the earth’s orbital parameters. Met. O. 20 Tech. Note n°II (72). Met. O. 20 Tech. Note n°II (100).Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Mitchell, J.F.B., 1983. The seasonal response of a general circulation model to changes in CO2 and sea temperatures. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc. 109, pp. 113–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    National Research Council, 1982. Climate in Earth History. National Academy Press, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Newson, R.L., 1973. Nature (London), 241, p. 39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Nicholson, S.E. and Flohn, H., 1980. African environment and climatic changes, and the general atmospheric circulation in late Pleistocene and Holocene. Climatic Change 2(4), pp. 313–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Palutikoff, J.P., Wigley, T.M.L., Farmer, G., 1984. The impact of CO2-induced climate change on crop yields in England and Wales. Progress in Biometeorology 3, pp. 320–334.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Petit-Maire, N., 1984. Le Sahara de la steppe au désert. La Recherche, 160, pp. 1372–1382.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Rowntree, P.R., 1976. Response of the atmosphere to a tropical Atlantic ocean temperature anomaly. Quaterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 102, pp. 607–625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Rowntree, P.R., Bolton, J.A., 1983. Simulation of the atmospheric response to soil moisture anomalies over Europe. Quaterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 109, pp. 501–526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Royer, J.F., Deque, M., Pestiaux, P., 1983. Orbital forcing of the inception of the Laurentide ice-sheet ? A GCM simulation of the 125,000–115,000 BP transition. Nature 304, pp. 43–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Royer, J.F., Pestiaux, P., 1984. A sensitivity experiment to astronomical forcing with a spectral GCM for the simulation of July 125 kyr BP. In: “New Perspectives in Climate Modelling”, Berger A.L. and Nicolis C. (Eds), Elsevier Publ. Company pp. 269-286.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Saltzman, B. and Vernekar, A.D., 1975. A solution for the Northern Hemisphere Climatic Zonation during a Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Research 5, pp. 307–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Schlesinger, M.E., 1983. A review of climate model simulations of CO2-induced climatic change. Climatic Research Institute Report n°41. Oregon State University.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Street, F.A. and Grove, A.T., 1976. Environmental and climatic implications of late Quaternary lake-level fluctuations in Africa. Nature 261, pp. 385–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Walker, J. and Rowntree, P.R., 1977. The effect of soil moisture on circulation and rainfall in a tropical model. Quaterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 103(435), pp. 29–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Wetherald, R.J. and Manabe, S., 1975. The effects of changing the solar constant on the climate of a General Circulation Model. J. Atmos. Sci. 32, pp. 2044–2059.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Wigley, T.M.L., 1977. Geographical Patterns of Climatic Change 1000 BC-1700 AD. NOAA Report 7-35207.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Wigley, T.M.L., Jones, P.D., Kelly, P.M., 1980. Scenario for a warm high CO2 world. Nature 283, pp. 17–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Wigley, T.M.L., Jone, P.D., 1981. Detecting CO2-induced climatic change. Nature 292, pp. 205–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Williams, J., Barry, R.G. and Washington, W.M., 1974. Simulation of the atmospheric circulation using the NCAR Global Circulation Model with Ice Age boundary conditions. J. of Applied Meteorology 13(3), pp. 305–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Woillard, G., 1979. Abrupt end of the last interglacial s.s. in north-east France. Nature 281, pp. 558–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Berger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut d’Astronomie et de Géophysique G. LemaîtreUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

Personalised recommendations