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Hazards and Human-Environment Systems in the Gobi Desert, Asia | Abstract
Journal of Geography  & Natural Disasters

Journal of Geography  & Natural Disasters
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0587

Abstract

Hazards and Human-Environment Systems in the Gobi Desert, Asia

Troy Sternberg

Climate hazards are a significant challenge for human and environmental systems in the Gobi Desert, Asia. Drought and extreme cold events frame ecological productivity and livelihood viability in the region. To investigate hazard impact this study uses the Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) to identify drought in southern Mongolia from 1970-2006. It then examines the relationship of drought with climate factors and its interaction with local human and livestock populations. Stressing the extreme winter disasters of 1999-2001 the study then evaluates the resilience of human-environment systems in the Gobi .Results indicate that drought is recurrent in the region, reaching extreme intensity most recently in 2005-2006. In contrast to the prevailing concept of drought impacting severe winters, the study did not find a connection between the two natural hazards. The principal long-term correlation of drought is with human population rather than natural factors, extreme conditions, or livestock numbers. Findings reflect human and landscape resilience when encountering drought and extreme winter conditions.