Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Places in news: Lake Chad


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Lake Chad

Mains level: Shrinking water bodies due to Global Warming

One of Africa’s largest freshwater bodies, Lake Chad, has shrunk by 90 per cent.

Try this PYQ from CSP 2018:

Q.Which of the following has/have shrunk immensely/dried up in the recent past due to human activities?

  1. Aral Sea
  2. Black Sea
  3. Lake Baikal

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 2 only

(d) 1 and 3

Lake Chad

  • Lake Chad in the Sahel spans the countries of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon and is home to 17.4 million people.
  • It is blessed with rich aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity.
  • The Chari River, fed by its tributary the Logone, provides over 90% of the lake’s water, with a small amount coming from the Yobe River in Nigeria/Niger.
  • Despite high levels of evaporation, the lake is freshwater.
  • The Lake Chad basin comprises biosphere reserves, World Heritage and Ramsar sites as well as wetlands of international conservation importance.

Why it is significant?

  • For years, the lake has been supporting drinking water, irrigation, fishing, livestock and economic activity for over 30 million people in the region.
  • It is vital for indigenous, pastoral and farming communities in one of the world’s poorest countries.
  • However, climate change has fuelled a massive environmental and humanitarian crisis.
  • The United Nations has termed the Lake Chad crisis as “one of the worst in the world”.

A looming peril

  • The lake has shrunk 90 per cent over the last 60 years since the chronic droughts surged at the beginning of the 1970s.
  • The surface area of the lake was 26,000 square kilometres in 1963; it has now reduced to less than 1,500 square kilometres.
  • Its population is exploding and the region has been ripped apart from conflict at an unprecedented scale.

Behind all crises

  • The ever-changing climate has dramatically worsened the situation, amplifying food and nutritional insecurity in the region.
  • Temperature is rising one-and-a-half times faster than the global average. The seasonal and inter-rainfall patterns have been drastically changing each year.
  • This has triggered food insecurity, ultimately pushing communities into the arms of terrorist groups.
  • Boko Haram is one of the top insurgent groups with a strong foothold in the region.

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