Climate change and unregulated irrigation projects are becoming major drivers for redrawing maps, say the cartographers of a renowned atlas.
"We can literally see environmental disasters unfolding before our eyes," says Mick Ashworth, the editor-in-chief of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World. "We have a real fear that, in the near future, famous geographical features will disappear forever."
The latest edition of the atlas is published on 3 September, four years after the previous version.
The atlas's cartographers have had to make changes to their maps because of environmental changes in the past, but "there were even more of these cases in this edition," says Jethro Lennox, publishing editor. "Rather than just one or two, you have half a dozen major examples of how human activities are causing changes in our maps."
Features that have changed over the past few decades include:
* The Aral Sea in Central Asia has shrunk by 75% since 1967 mostly because of uncontrolled irrigation
* Lake Chad in Africa has shrunk by 95% since 1963 because of a combination of failing monsoons and human overexploitation
* The Dead Sea is 25 metres lower than it was 50 years ago – like the Aral Sea, the shrinking is largely due to uncontrolled irrigation.
More about it, here.
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