University Briefs

Decade Of The Desert "We as scientists do not understand the deserts, so how can we best know how to use them?" asks Farouk El-Baz, director of the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing. That basic lack of understanding that El-Baz perceives prompted him and fellow scientists from more than 20 countries to meet in Trieste, Italy, at a conference sponsored by the Third World Academy of Sciences and the Canadian International Development Agency. The attendees declared the 1990s the Decade o

The Scientist Staff
Feb 18, 1990

Decade Of The Desert
"We as scientists do not understand the deserts, so how can we best know how to use them?" asks Farouk El-Baz, director of the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing. That basic lack of understanding that El-Baz perceives prompted him and fellow scientists from more than 20 countries to meet in Trieste, Italy, at a conference sponsored by the Third World Academy of Sciences and the Canadian International Development Agency. The attendees declared the 1990s the Decade of the Desert. Says El-Baz, who directed the conference: "We need that many years to understand changes in the [desert] environment," changes he says may be governed by the 11-year solar cycle. A key goal of the Decade of the Desert is to establish the International Center for Dryland Research, which would primarily function as a data storehouse. The Sudan government has so far donated a piece of land...

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