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desertification

[dih-zur-tuh-fi-key-shuh n] /dɪˌzɜr tə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən/
noun, Ecology
1.
the processes by which an area becomes a desert.
2.
the rapid depletion of plant life and the loss of topsoil at desert boundaries and in semiarid regions, usually caused by a combination of drought and the overexploitation of grasses and other vegetation by people.
Also, desertization
[dez-er-tuh-zey-shuh n] /ˌdɛz ər təˈzeɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA)
.
Compare aridification.
Origin
1970-1975
1970-75; desert1 + -i- + -fication
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for desertization

desertification

/dɪˌzɜːtɪfɪˈkeɪʃən/
noun
1.
a process by which fertile land turns into barren land or desert
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for desertization

desertification

n.

1973, from desert (n.1) + -fication. In French, désertisation is attested from 1968.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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desertization in Science
desertification
  (dĭ-zûr'tə-fĭ-kā'shən)   
The transformation of land once suitable for agriculture into desert. Desertification can result from climate change or from human practices such as deforestation and overgrazing.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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