UPDATE 2300, Thursday 11 February: See below.
The Herald reports the second-largest lake in Bolivia has evaporated.
Lake has disappeared before
Lake Poopo was officially declared evaporated last month. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have lost their livelihoods and gone.
High on Bolivia’s semi-arid Andean plains at 3700 metres (more than 12,000 feet) and long subject to climatic whims, the shallow saline lake has essentially dried up before only to rebound to twice the area of Los Angeles.
Scientist says ‘climate change’
“This is a picture of the future of climate change,” says Dirk Hoffman, a German glaciologist who studies how rising temperatures from the burning of fossil fuels have accelerated glacial melting in Bolivia.
What a fatuous comment. One wonders how long such a study might take. Since a link between human emissions from burning fossil fuels and atmospheric temperature is highly controversial and has not been demonstrated, and since temperatures haven’t been rising, and since glaciers are more sensitive to precipitation and topography than to minute changes in air temperature, it’s likely that the stated objects of study cannot be found in Bolivia (except Bolivia).
So he’s probably studying just glaciers, which are quite interesting, and he’s talking about a link with fossil fuels just to secure funding from some generous climate change charity. Or Germany.
But this was man-made climate change
Other factors are involved here, including diversion of water for mining and agriculture (who might have guessed?), and politics. President Evo Morales has sought to deflect criticism for not acting earlier. He suggests that Poopo could come back, saying, “My father told me about crossing the lake on a bicycle once when it dried up.”
He returned last month from the UN climate conference in Paris. I looked it up; it finished on December 12 (a long time ago). El Pres must have taken a few weeks off from arduous presidenting. Or maybe he was buying bigger machine guns for the fight against drug trafficking.
Get your act together, President Morales. Your people need some assistance to look after the environment.
UPDATE 2300, Thursday 11 February
A reader, Maggy Wassilieff, advises: “Pity journalists don’t check the readily available scientific literature to discover that in recent times this shallow lake was dry between 1994-97, in the early 1970s, and the early 1940s.”
The paper she links to confirms this, concluding:
Water balance computations indicate that Lake Poopó was dry between 1994 and 1997 and was very low during 1969–1973. The computations also show that the lake can recover from almost dry conditions to normal or even to spill-over depth within a year. Drying of the lake to a very small surface area takes a longer time.
So having dried at leisure, the lake could be back to normal within a year. Climate alarmists may one day be asked to account for their deceptions; those who now uncritically repeat them will surely not escape scot-free.