Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Lake Chad (lower left) and the surrounding wetlands are under increasing pressure from desertification. The encroachment of the Sahara occurs with creeping sand dunes and major dust storms, such as the one pictured in this MODIS image from October 28, 2001. The amount of open water (lighter green patch within the darker one) has declined markedly over the last decades and the invasion of dunes is creating a rippled effect through the wetlands that is all too clear in the high-resolution images. Growing population and increasing demands on the lake give it an uncertain future. The loss of such an important natural resource will have profound effects on the people who depend on the rapidly diminishing source of fresh water.
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