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The second largest lake in Bolivia has officially dried up

Daksha Rangan
Digital Reporter

Sunday, January 31, 2016, 3:27 PM - Gradually rising temperatures have taken one more thing away from planet earth.

Lake Poopó, once Bolivia's second-largest lake, was officially declared evaporated in December 2015. With it, biologists report the disappearance of 75 species of birds and the displacement of hundreds of locals.

Situated on the country's relatively dry Andean plains and thus subject to climactic impulses, Bolivia's Lake Poopó has dried up once before. But it soon rebounded, expanding to be twice the area of Los Angeles, The New York Times reports.

This time, however, things are different. Scientists don't foresee the possibility of a rebound.

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German glaciologist Dirk Hoffman told The New York Times that Lake Poopó's fate is a snapshot of climate change's impending consequences. Hoffman notes that the gradual disappearance of Andean glaciers instigated the disappearance of Poopó's water sources.

The driving force behind the lake's evaporation is said to be the wrath of El Niño's drought, but officials also list the man-made diversion of water from Poopó’s tributaries for mining and agriculture to be another significant cause.

All that remains of the lake is a meager two per cent of its original water level, the local governor Victor Hugo Vásquez reports. Poopó once reached a depth of almost five metres.

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SOURCE: NASA Earth Obervatory | The New York Times

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