Desertification of forest, range and desert in Tehran province, affected by climate change
Abstract. Climate change has been identified as a leading human and environmental crisis of the twenty-first century. Drylands throughout the world have always undergone periods of degradation due to naturally occurring fluctuation in climate. Persistence of widespread degradation in arid and semiarid regions of Iran necessitates monitoring and evaluation. This paper aims to monitor the desertification trend in three types of land use, including range, forest and desert, affected by climate change in Tehran province for the 2000s and 2030s. For assessing climate change at Mehrabad synoptic station, the data of two emission scenarios, including A2 and B2, were used, utilizing statistical downscaling techniques and data generated by the Statistical DownScaling Model (SDSM). The index of net primary production (NPP) resulting from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite images was employed as an indicator of destruction from 2001 to 2010. The results showed that temperature is the most significant driving force which alters the net primary production in rangeland, forest and desert land use in Tehran province. On the basis of monitoring findings under real conditions, in the 2000s, over 60 % of rangelands and 80 % of the forest were below the average production in the province. On the other hand, the long-term average changes of NPP in the rangeland and forests indicated the presence of relatively large areas of these land uses with a production rate lower than the desert. The results also showed that, assuming the existence of circumstances of each emission scenarios, the desertification status will not improve significantly in the rangelands and forests of Tehran province.