95 - The Incredible Shrinking Lake (Chad, That Is)
A series of maps detail the rapid disappearance of Lake Chad in Africa.
Lake Chad is not the only inland body of water that’s disappearing under the dual assault of climate change and human overuse. Lake Aral, in formerly Soviet Central Asia, is well known for the picturesque images of boats stranded in the desert. I don’t know how fast the process went with Lake Aral, but as this map demonstrates, it’s been mercilessly swift with Lake Chad. The last of these five maps dates from 2001. I even wonder whether six years later there still is a Lake Chad. Gonna check up on that in a minute.
Lake Chad is – or was – a large inland lake in Africa. It is surrounded by four countries: Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The lake is very shallow, 7 metres at its deepest, and is dotted by islands and mudbanks. Most of its shorelines are made up of marshes. Some 90% of the lake’s water comes from the Chari River.
The present-day lake is the remnant of a much larger inland lake, about 400.000 sq. km at its largest around the year 4000 BC. It has shrunk in summer and expanded (but mainly shrunk) ever since. When Europeans first surveyed in in 1832, it still was one of the largest lakes in the world. In 1908 and 1984, it almost dried out. In the 1960s, Lake Chad again covered 26.000 sq. km, making it the fourth largest lake in Africa. By 2000, it had shrunk to a mere 1.500 sq. km, with an average depth of no more than 1,5 metres.
Lake Chad’s shrinkage has increased in recent decades, due to population growth in the adjacent countries. Nowadays, more than 20 million people surrounding at least partially depend on the lake for potable and irrigable water. Overgrazing surrounding the lake, and subsequent decline in vegetation has caused extensive desertification. According to experts, this environmental degradation is due to resource depletion rather than global warming.
Wikipedia has no recent update on the state of the lake, a quick trawl through the internet shows up this report by the BBC dated January 15, 2007, stating its present size as 500 sq. km and predicting it could disappear in the next two decades.
This map taken here.
Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.
- Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
- In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.
- July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
- Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
- NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.
Pugs and bulldogs are incredibly trendy, but experts have massive animal welfare concerns about these genetically manipulated breeds.
- Pugs, Frenchies, boxers, shih-tzus and other flat-faced dog breeds have been trending for at least the last decade.
- Higher visibility (usually in a celebrity's handbag), an increase in city living (smaller dogs for smaller homes), and possibly even the fine acting of Frank the Pug in 1997's Men in Black may be the cause.
- These small, specialty pure breeds are seen as the pinnacle of cuteness – they have friendly personalities, endearing odd looks, and are perfect for Stranger Things video montages.
Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.
- Facebook joke event to "raid Area 51" has already gained 1,000,000 "going" attendees.
- The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
- If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.