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Posts tagged Lake Titicaca

Climate Change’s Impacts on Lake Poopó, Bolivia: Reduced Area and Biodiversity – July 1st, 2013

18.7S 67W

July 1st, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Lakes, Salt Flats VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Bolivia – June 28th, 2013

Visible high on the Bolivian altiplano are the green waters of Lake Poopó and the bright white surface of the Salar de Uyuni. Lake Poopó’s area has decreased by 50% in the last 25 years, with serious consequences for the populations of resident and migratory waterbirds.

The lake is located at approximately 3700 m above sea level, covering an approximate area of 967,000 ha, making it the second biggest lake in Bolivia, after Lake Titicaca (visible in the upper part of the full image), which is shared with Peru. However, in only 25 years its area has decreased by about 17,400 ha, representing almost 50% of its total area.

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.

The change in size of the wetland has represented a considerable loss of available habitat for migratory bird species, for which the lake represents an important habitat, especially during the dry season (May to September), coinciding with the southern winter. However, drastic decreases in the populations of these species have been detected since 2007. Preliminary results suggest that the reason for this decline is the loss of available habitat as a result of the reduced area of Lake Poopó, and the accumulation of solid waste around the shores of the lake (click here for more information).


Climate Change and Lake Poopó Water Levels, Bolivia

18.7S 67W

March 21st, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Lakes, Rivers

Bolivia – March 20th, 2013

Lake Poopó is a large saline lake located in a shallow depression in the Altiplano Mountains in Bolivia at an altitude of approximately 3,700 metres. The lake receives most of its water from the Desaguadero River which flows from Lake Titicaca at the north end of the Altiplano. Here, the water flowing in from the river appears darker than the bright green waters of the rest of the lake.

Since the Lake Poopó lacks any major outlet and has a mean depth of no more than 3 m, its surface area varies greatly. Scientists have recently done studies to determine whether the variability in water level is strongly connected to the influx of water from Lake Titicaca (visible in the full image). By analyzing satellite data and climate fields over a ten year period, it was discovered that over the time span of 2000-2009 a great part of the variability of the Poopó system originated from geographic sources other than Lake Titicaca.

Possible alternative causes include climate change inducing increased temperatures and greater evaporation rates along the Altiplano; increased glacier and snow melting over the Andes Cordillera; and a potential increased anthropogenic water use (such as irrigation, minery, etc.) throughout the path of the Desaguadero River (which connects lakes Titicaca and Poopó). This change in the hydrology of this region could lead to a collapse of water supplies and endanger the already fragile Poopó system as well as the regional socioeconomic system, which closely depends upon it (click here for more information).

New Borders Feature in Action – January 27th, 2013 – EOSnap Celebrates its 6000th Post!

22.5N 31.7E

January 27th, 2013 Category: Clouds, Image of the day, Lakes

Egypt and Sudan – January 26th, 2013

Bolivia and Peru – January 26th, 2013

Mozambique – January 26th, 2013

USA – January 26th, 2013

Egypt, without borders

EOSnap celebrates our 6000th post by focusing on the new “borders” feature of the Chelys Satellite Rapid Response System (SRRS). The feature allows users to download satellite images that show not only a true, traditional view of the terrain below, but also the borders of countries. The feature is particularly useful for seeing the outline of land despite cloudcover. It can also be used to show the location of lakes.

In the main image, the border between Egypt and Sudan is clearly visible as a horizontal line. The contours of Lake Nasser, which would otherwise be invisible except for its southern tip due to heavy cloud cover (see thumbnail image “Egypt, without borders” for a look at the original, borderless image), are easily distinguishable, highlighted in blue. The thumbnail image of Mozambique shows the country’s shoreline despite an area of convection, in this case a potential area of cyclone formation, looming over the coast. The thumbnail image of Bolivia and Peru focuses on Lake Titicaca, and clearly shows where the lake is divided between the two countries. The thumbnail image of southern USA, in addition to sediments from the Mississippi River, shows the border between Louisiana (right) and Texas (left), as well as the Toledo Bend Reservoir, despite the thick clouds covering the upper half of the image.

Fires Across Bolivia and Brazil – September 10th, 2012

16.4S 68.1W

September 10th, 2012 Category: Fires, Image of the day, Lakes

Bolivia and Peru – August 29th, 2012

Multiple plumes of smoke from fires in Bolivia (lower right quadrant) and the Brazilian states of Rondônia (upper right) and Amazonas (above center) can be seen across this view of South America (click here for previous images). The plumes of smoke in Bolivia are blowing due northwest, while those in Brazil are fanning out over a larger area, although still being carried in a generally northwesterly direction. Visible across the Andes Mountains in the lower left quadrant is Lake Titicaca, on the border of Bolivia and Peru.

Fire Northwest of Lakes Rogaguado and Huaytunas, Bolivia

13S 65.9W

July 10th, 2012 Category: Fires, Lakes

Bolivia – July 9th, 2012

Several Bolivian lakes can be observed in this image of South America. In the lower left quadrant is the large Lake Titicaca, straddling the Bolivia-Peru border. To the northeast, near the right edge, is a cluster of lakes in Bolivia’s Beni Departament, including Lake Rogaguado (tan from sediments) and Lake Huaytunas (also known as Lake Ginebra, green from sediments and algal growth). A plume of smoke from a wildfire can be observed to the northwest of the lakes.