Drying of Lake Faguibine, Mali:Report by UNEP

Drying of Lake Faguibine, Mali:Report by UNEP

Home to more than 13 million people, Mali stretches from the Sahara Desert in the north to the semiarid grassland known as the Sahel in the south. Just 3.8 percent of the country's land is arable, and increased use of natural resources combined with prolonged drought have nudged the country toward desertification, according to a report issued by the United Nations Environment Programme.  The top image is made from observations acquired on January 3, 1974, and December 26, 1978. The bottom image is made from observations acquired on March 17, 2005, and September 28, 2006. Made with a combination of visible and infrared light, the images show vegetation as red, water as blue, and bare ground in shades of beige and gray, indicates changes that have taken over a decade in time. In 1974, this lake covered roughly 590 square kilometers (230 square miles). Starting in the late 1980s, a drop in precipitation steadily dried the lake. By the late 1990s, the traditional livelihoods of fishing, agriculture, and livestock herding became impractical. Original Article on NASA's Earth Observatory Page:NASA: Drying of Lake Faguibine, Mali

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