"Despite improvements in the LCA, it has a methodological weakness, which is a lack of environmental impact categories to measure the effect of human activities such as cultivation or grazing on the soil", Montserrat Núnez, lead author and a researcher at the Institute of Agro Food Research and Technology (IRTA), tells SINC.
The research, published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, is the first study in the world to include the impact of desertification in the LCA, based on classifying 15 natural areas or "eco-regions" according to their degree of aridity. By simultaneously using the LCA and a Geographic Information System (GIS), the researchers have shown that eight of these 15 areas can be classified as at risk of desertification, representing 38% of the land surface of the world.
The eight natural areas at risk are coastal areas, the Prairies, the Mediterranean region, the savannah, the temperate Steppes, the temperate deserts, tropical and subtropical Steppes, and the tropical and subtropical deserts.
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