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Climate Change Affecting Lake Poopó’s Water Levels – May 7th, 2013

18.7S 67W

May 7th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Lakes, Wetlands

Bolivia – May 7th, 2013

Lake Poopó, the green lake in the upper half of this image, is located on the Andean altiplano, or highland plateau, in Bolivia, at approximately 3700 m above sea level. Its area has decreased by 50% – about 17,400 ha. – in the last 25 years, with serious consequences for the populations of resident and migratory waterbirds.

The decrease in the wetland’s area of open water has been attributed principally to climate change, which, in conjunction with current hydrological conditions (high rates of evaporation, low rainfall, and low flow rates of the rivers flowing into the lake), mean that water levels in the lake are not rising. This has had serious impacts on the biodiversity which depends on the wetland, given that the salinity has increased, thus decreasing survival rates of some species, with subsequent consequences in the local economy.

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