Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bolivia’s Vanished Lake Is a Glimpse of the Future of Climate Change

This photo combo of satellite images provided by the USGS shows Lake Poopo on Oct, 11, 1986, left, and almost dry on Jan. 16, 2016, right. As Andean glaciers disappear so do the sources of Poopo's water. (Credit: USGS—AP) Click to Enlarge.
Overturned fishing skiffs lie abandoned on the shores of what was Bolivia’s second-largest lake.  Beetles dine on bird carcasses and gulls fight for scraps under a glaring sun in what marshes remain.

Lake Poopo was officially declared evaporated last month. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have lost their livelihoods and gone.

High on Bolivia’s semi-arid Andean plains at 3,700 meters (more than 12,000 feet) and long subject to climatic whims, the shallow saline lake has essentially dried up before only to rebound to twice the area of Los Angeles.

But recovery may no longer be possible, scientists say.

“This is a picture of the future of climate change,” says Dirk Hoffman, a German glaciologist who studies how rising temperatures from the burning of fossil fuels has accelerated glacial melting in Bolivia.

Read more at Bolivia’s Vanished Lake Is a Glimpse of the Future of Climate Change

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