Desertification and land degradation in the Sahel has been studied and debated for almost a century. That the Sahelian vegetation system is dependent on rainfall is widely accepted. The interannual variation in rainfall is also high over the Sahel giving rise to large fluctuations in vegetation growth and cover. The climate variation is illustrated in the large graph above by the latitudal (N-S) shift in the position of the 300 mm rainfall boundary (isohyet) 1931-2004.


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