Book ID 339
Forse, B. The myth of the marching desert, 1989
The UN's figure for the southward march of the Sahara comes from an investigation conducted in 1975 by Hugh Lamprey, an ecologist who is now director of the Worldwide Fund for Nature in East Africa. He said: 'The desert's boundary had shifted south by 90 to 100 kilometres between 1958 and 1975.'
In a paper published last November, two geographers from University College, London, Clive Agnew and Andrew Warren, dispute this claim. The estimate of the position of the edge of the desert in 1958 they say, was based on very limited data from weather stations. Moreover, in 1975, there was a drought. Lamprey failed to distinguish between the temporary effects of the drought on the boundaries of the desert and any permanent 'desertification', they say.