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Posts tagged Cameroon

Desertification by Shrinking Lake Chad

13.3N 14.1E

February 1st, 2012 Category: Deserts, Lakes

Niger - December 29th, 2012

Lake Chad is located in the Sahel, a vast savanna bordered by the rain forests of the west coast of Africa on one side and the Sahara desert to the north. Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon are neighboring countries. Once one of Africa’s largest freshwater lakes, it has shrunk dramatically in the last 40 years. In 1963, the lake covered about 9,700 square miles (25,000 square kilometers); in 2001, it was only one-twentieth of that size.

Researchers have concluded that human activities are to blame for the shrinking of the lake. Historically, Lake Chad received most of its water from the monsoon rains that fell annually from June to August. But beginning in the late 1960s, the region experienced a series of devastating droughts. As the rains increasingly failed to come, the region began undergoing desertification. At the same time, local people became more and more dependent on the lake as a source of water to replace the water they had previously obtained from the monsoons. Also, overgrazing of the savanna is one of the biggest factors in the shrinking of the lake.

 

Dust Near Lake Chad, Over Nigeria and Chad

13.3N 14.1E

January 31st, 2012 Category: Deserts, Dust Storms, Lakes

Chad - January 4th, 2012

Dust can be observed in the air over Nigeria, southwest of Lake Chad (center). The white smudge to the northeast, in Chad, is a dust storm in the Bodélé Depression, located at the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in north central Africa. The lowest point in Chad, dust storms from the Bodélé Depression are very common, occurring on average about 100 days per year.

Desertification in the region has been increasing, and Lake Chad, once one of the world’s largest water bodies, could disappear in 20 years due to climate change and population pressures, resulting in a humanitarian disaster in central Africa. The lake – surrounded by Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria – has shrunk by 90 per cent, going from 25,000 square kilometers in 1963 to less than 1,500 square kilometers in 2001.

The 30 million people living in the Lake Chad region are being forced into competing over water, and the drying up of the lake could lead to migration and conflicts. Fish production has recorded a 60 per cent decline, while pasturelands have been degraded, resulting in a shortage of animal feed, livestock and biodiversity. A radical change in water management techniques is needed to stem the diminishing flow of water into Lake Chad.

Vegetation Index Along Gulf of Guinea Coast

4.6N 8.7E

December 13th, 2011 Category: Vegetation Index

Nigeria - December 10th, 2011

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of part of Africa, stretching along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and Bight of Bonny from Nigeria, through Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and to Gabon (left to lower right).

The index is generally good (green) near the coast, and becomes lower (yellow) as one moves northwards towards the Sahara Desert. The index is highest (rusty red) in southwestern Nigeria, near the shores.

Dust Over Northwestern Lake Chad

13.3N 14.1E

June 5th, 2011 Category: Climate Change, Lakes

Chad - May 23rd, 2011

Here, some dust can be seen in the air above the northwestern part of Lake Chad. Once one of the world’s largest water bodies, could disappear in 20 years due to climate change and population pressures.

The lake – surrounded by Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria – has shrunk by 90 per cent, going from 25,000 square kilometers in 1963 to less than 1,500 square kilometers in 2001.

The 30 million people living in the Lake Chad region are being forced into competing over water, and fish production has recorded a 60 per cent decline.

 

Vegetation and Pools by Lake Chad

13.3N 14.1E

April 18th, 2011 Category: Lakes

Chad - April 8th, 2011

Being on the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert in north-central Africa, Lake Chad extends over the territories of four countries: Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon.

Owing to the supply of river water from the highlands to the south, it remains a freshwater lake under the prevailing arid climate. The water level is variable as it is influenced by the rainfall fluctuation both seasonally and annually.

Since the drought years in the 1970’s, the northern half of the lake (Northern Basin) has been completely dry and the Southern Basin has been turned into a densely vegetated area with scattered swamps and open pools. This vegetation and some pools can be observed in great detail in the full image.