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Showing posts from August 10, 2008

Ceremony Marks "Death" of Australia's Greatest River

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Ceremony Marks "Death" of Australia's Greatest River

Thousands of people rallied in southern Australia Sunday to protest the dwindling water levels in one of the country's greatest rivers, claiming the loss was causing an environmental disaster.
The 5,000-strong crowd gathered near the mouth of the 2,530 kilometre (1,569 mile) Murray to hold two minute's silence to mark the 'death' of the river, which forms part of Australia's most important agricultural region.

Kym McHugh, mayor of the local Alexandrina Council, said the ceremony near the South Australian town of Goolwa was to "underscore this eleventh hour bid to save the nation's greatest river." "It sent a very clear message by saying we've had a lot of talk about the river system, a lot of science, we all know what the problem is -- we just want politicians to have the will to fix it up," he told national news agency AAP.

"They need to secure water upstream and send i…

Central Africa's Lake Chad Is Disappearing

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Central Africa's Lake Chad Is Disappearing

By SHASHANK BENGALI
McClatchy Newspapers

Sinyaka Island in Lake Chad formed less than five years ago as lake waters receded to unprecedented levels. The lake that once covered some 9,000 square miles — roughly the area of New Jersey — has shrunk to less than 2 percent of its original size. SINYAKA ISLAND, Chad There’s nothing remarkable about this lump of hot sand, tangled weeds and tree-branch huts except that, until a few years ago, it didn’t exist.

More precisely, the island was underwater, hidden beneath the vast surface of central Africa’s Lake Chad. The emergence of the island, whose sweltering shores have been settled by dozens of families, is evidence of an unsettling ecological trend: The lake is drying up.

Once among the largest lakes in the world — at some 9,000 square miles, roughly the size of New Jersey — Lake Chad has been decimated over the past four decades by rising temperatures, diminishing rainfall and a growing population …