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“Shrinking” Lake Chad Is Actually Growing!

May 18, 2019
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By Paul Homewood




We are all familiar with claims that Lake Chad is shrinking, in part because of climate change.

Such claims about climate claims were always highly suspect, given that the Sahel drought of the 1970s and 80s, which drastically affected the lake levels, occurred during a period of global cooling, as I showed here.


New evidence has now emerged though which shows that Lake Chad is not even shrinking anymore, and has actually grown since the 1990s:



Climate change is aggravating conflict around Lake Chad, but not in the way experts once thought, according to new research.

Berlin-based think tank adelphi debunked the widely held idea that the lake is currently shrinking. While severe droughts in the 1970s and 80s shrunk the lake from a high-point of 25,000 sq km to 2,000 sq km in the 1990s, it has since grown to 14,000 sq km and remained relatively stable in the past two decades.

The findings draw on new analysis of 20 years of satellite imagery and long-term hydrological data from the Lake Chad basin, including ground measurements.

UN security council members mount new push to address climate threat

Previous satellite images underestimated the amount of water in the lake, in part because of the growth of plants that stood in the water, lead author Janani Vivekananda told Climate Home News.

“Different satellites give you different kind of information, and have limitations,” Vivekananda said. “Very often when you’re looking down from 30,000 feet, you miss information such as the water that’s under vegetation cover.” Researchers looked at laser satellite images to probe into the volume of water, she said.

The conflict and humanitarian crisis driven by the “shrinking” lake is often cited as a textbook example of climate change affecting security. But warming remains an important factor, according to the study, which also drew on 200 interviews with local communities.

Rising temperatures – up to one and a half times faster than the global average – and increasingly erratic rain patterns have created food insecurity, ultimately pushing communities into the arms of terrorist groups like Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa Province.

“The unpredictability of rains means that people are just giving up,” Vivekananda said. “After the third or fourth failed harvest, not knowing when to switch from fishing to farming, the offer of a livelihood of food every day and business loans becomes more attractive.”



Lake Chad, which straddles Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, is home to 17.4 million people. Around 10.7 million people require humanitarian assistance, with 5 million suffering from food insecurity. Some 2.5 million people have fled their homes.


Since 2009, violence in northeast Nigeria has boiled over into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. A range of factors were feeding the region’s instability. Successive economic crises, divisive reforms and weak governance in the region, coupled with rising inequality and dismay at corruption among the ruling elite have created a hotbed for tensions.

Climate change, the report found, both worsened the conditions at the root of conflicts, and undermined communities’ ability to deal with them.


Not that this stops the usual suspects from climate change for terrorism in the region!


According to the report’s author:

Rising temperatures – up to one and a half times faster than the global average – and increasingly erratic rain patterns have created food insecurity, ultimately pushing communities into the arms of terrorist groups like Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa Province.


It’s funny how everywhere seems to be warming faster than the global average!


In fact, food production has been rising rapidly in all three countries mentioned, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. There is certainly no sign at all of the “increasingly erratic rains” or “food insecurity”:






But facts don’t pay climate research grants!

  1. May 18, 2019 7:22 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  2. May 18, 2019 7:47 pm

    Lake Chad was one of the first examples of “climate change”, which convinced me that many claims were false.

  3. May 18, 2019 9:59 pm

    An explanation the UN’s political strategy using the climate change narrative since 1992?

    “The Rio Conference in 1992 was crucial for the position of climate change in world politics. The formation of the UN Climate Convention, the UNFCCC received support from most of the world’s countries. The UN’s quest for the new world order, global equalization and justice now had a collective external threat that affected all countries of the world. Climate science under the auspices of the IPCC was turned into post-normal pseudoscience, subordinate to higher goals, ie the UN’s pursuit of the new world order” – Google translated

  4. Athelstan. permalink
    May 19, 2019 1:12 am

    This lake (Chad) is an example intermediate basin capture, it ain’t very deep,thus is very susceptible to water surface area fluctuation and thanks to indeterminate seasonal precipitation and loses much of its varied volume also to rapid evaporation.

    Lake Chad, it is no marker of MMCO2, runaway climate armageddon but then we knew that.


    Kilimanjaro and man made problems, ie, man causing natural vegetation and regional habitat destruction, thus reducing evapotranspiration and consequently its loss of snow cover.

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