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Climate Change and Water Resources in Gujarat, India

21.8N 72.3E

May 28th, 2013 Category: Climate Change

India – May 28th, 2013

This image focuses on the Indian state of Gujarat, located in the western part of the country, with a population of 56 million with an area of 196024 sq.km. Scientists studying climate change in the region have observed that the frequency of hot days shows a gradual increasing trend and the frequency of cold days shows a decreasing trend.

In India, the mean sea‐level rise is estimated to be about 1.3 mm/year on an average. This will lead to an increase in salinity, affecting habitats, agriculture and availability of fresh water for drinking, particularly in states such as Gujarat with large stretches of coastline (click here for more information). Here the Gulf of Kutch (above) and the Bay of Khambhat (below) can be observed.

Ecological Concerns for the Rann of Kutch Seasonal Salt Marsh, India and Pakistan

24.0N 70.1E

March 4th, 2013 Category: Salt Flats

India – March 3rd, 2013

The Rann of Kutch Seasonal Salt Marsh is perhaps the bleakest, dustiest, and hottest region in India is the Great Rann of Kutch. It stretches for hundreds of square kilometers in the State of Gujarat, from the frontier with Pakistan’s Sind Desert, southward to the Little Rann and the Gulf of Kutch.

Despite the huge expanse of sun-baked saline clay desert (visible here as a large, white area), the Rann of Kutch seasonal salt marsh provides refuge for the last population of the endangered Asiatic wild ass (Equus hermionus) and supports the one of the world’s largest breeding colonies of the greater and lesser flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber and P. minor).

The primary threats to this ecoregion’s habitat are from cattle grazing even within the protected areas, vehicular traffic that damages the fragile ecosystem, and cutting trees to make charcoal. The proposed expansion of the commercial salt extraction operations will result in disturbances to wildlife, especially to the wild ass population and the floricans, bustards, flamingoes, and pelicans. Feral pigs around the fringes of the sanctuary carry disease, degrade habitat, and disrupt reproduction of ground-nesting birds.

Smoke Over Gulf of Khambhat, India

21.8N 72.3E

December 5th, 2012 Category: Fires, Rivers

India and Pakistan – December 3rd, 2012

Smoke from fires burning in northwestern India blows southwestward over the state of Gujarat. The smoke partially veils the Gulf of Khambhat, while the Gulf of Kutch, further northwest up the coast, as well as the mouth of the Indus River, in Pakistan, remain clear.

Ahmedabad and Vadodara Near Gulf of Khambhat, India – January 26th, 2012

23.0N 72.5E

January 26th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

India - January 5th, 2012

This wide-swath ASAR image shows the Gulf of Khambhat, an inlet of the Arabian Sea along the west coast of India, in the state of Gujarat. It is about 80 miles in length, and divides the Kathiawar peninsula to the west from the eastern part of Gujarat state on the east. The Narmada and Tapti rivers empty into the Gulf.

Visible north of the gulf, near the top edge, is the city of Ahmedabad. It is the fifth largest city and seventh largest metropolitan area of India, with a city population of approximately 5.6 million and metropolitan population of 6.4 million. The city is situated at an elevation of 53 metres (174 ft) from Mean Sea Level. The city sits on the banks of the River Sabarmati, in north-central Gujarat. It spans an area of 205 km2 (79 sq mi).  The steady expansion of the Rann of Kutch (partially visible as a dark grey area in the upper left corner) threatens to increase desertification around the city area and much of the state.

Visible near the northern shores of the gulf is another city, Vadodara, formerly known as Baroda, the third most populated city in the Indian State of Gujarat. It is situated at an elevation of 39 metres (123 feet). It is the 18th largest city in India with an area of 148.95 km² and a population of 4.1 million according to the 2010-11 census. The city sits on the banks of the River Vishwamitri, in central Gujarat. The Vishwamitri frequently dries up in the summer, leaving only a small stream of water. The city is located on the fertile plain between the Mahi & Narmada Rivers.

Indus River Valley and Rann of Kutch, Pakistan – October 10th, 2011

24.5N 68.0E

October 10th, 2011 Category: Deserts, Image of the day, Rivers, Wetlands

Pakistan - October 6th, 2011

The lower stretches of the Indus River Valley appear as a wide, green, S-shaped line crossing Pakistan. The river itself can be seen in the center of the vegetation, as a thick, tan line due to the sediments it carries.

Southeast of the river is the Rann of Kutch, a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District of Gujarat, India and the Sindh province of Pakistan. Although it often appears as a series of white salt flats, here it appears to be inundated and thus has a predominately teal color.

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