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9/09/2007

New Times Atlas displays effects of climate change

Creators of the Times Atlas have had to make significant changes to their latest edition because of changes to the world's landscapes caused by climate change. Cartographers have had to redraw coastlines and reclassify types of land to reflect changes to geographical features like Lake Chad in Africa, which is now 95 percent smaller than it was in 1963. "We can literally see environmental disasters unfolding before our eyes. We have a real fear that in the near future, famous geographical features will disappear forever. The outline of places are changing, like Bangladesh. Sea levels are rising about three millimetres a year, which has strange effects on the coastline." Some of the changes are influenced by irrigation schemes, like the Aral Sea in central Asia which has shrunk in size by three-quarters in the last 40 years as waters have been diverted to help a cotton-growing scheme.
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