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Future of Okavango Delta, Botswana

19.7S 22.8E

February 12th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Rivers, Wetlands

Botswana – January 26th, 2013

The Okavango Delta (upper left quadrant), in Botswana, is a large inland delta, formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari Desert. All the water reaching the Delta is ultimately evaporated and transpired, and does not flow into any sea or ocean. Each year approximately 11 cubic kilometres of water spread over the 6,000-15,000 km² area.

Scientific studies have suggested that the river flow could decrease by over 26% by the turn of the next century, due to climate change, particularly changing precipitation patterns in Angola. Changing precipitation patterns will result in changing flood patterns, which would devastate an ecosystem built around predictable winter floods. Furthermore, an increased evaporation rate in the Kalahari will reduce total surface area that the flood can reach and accelerate its disappearance (click here to read more).

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