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The world's wetlands form a unique environment for natural species, but due to their fragility they are evermore under pressure. The study of the environment and the change elements which affect them are the core of this application area.

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Proba-V eyes Bolivia's vanishing lake

08 February 2016

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Monitoring Earth's surface every day, ESA's Proba-V minisatellite has had a ringside seat as the second largest lake in Bolivia gradually dried up. Lake Poopó has now been declared fully evaporated.

Occupying a depression in the Altiplano mountains, the saline Lake Poopó has in the past spanned an area of 3000 square kilometres - greater than France's Réunion Island.

But the lake's shallow nature, with an average depth of just 3 m, coupled with its arid highland surroundings, means that it is very sensitive to fluctuations in climate.

Its official evaporation was declared last December. This is not the first time Lake Poopó has evaporated - the last time was in 1994 - but the fear is that any refilling might take many years, if it occurs at all.

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