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. New Times Atlas displays effects of climate change

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Sept 2, 2007
Creators of the Times Atlas have had to make significant changes to their latest edition because of changes to the world's landscapes caused by climate change, their chief said Sunday.

Cartographers have had to redraw coastlines and reclassify types of land to reflect changes to geographical features like Lake Chad in Africa, which is now 95 percent smaller than it was in 1963.

The last edition of "The Times Comprehensive Atlas Of The World" was published in 2003.

"We can literally see environmental disasters unfolding before our eyes," said Mick Ashworth, the editor-in-chief of the atlas, which is published in Britain.

"We have a real fear that in the near future, famous geographical features will disappear forever."

He added: "The outline of places are changing, like Bangladesh. Sea levels are rising about three millimetres a year, which has strange effects on the coastline."

Some of the changes are influenced by irrigation schemes, like the Aral Sea in central Asia which has shrunk in size by three-quarters in the last 40 years as waters have been diverted to help a cotton-growing scheme.

The 12th edition of the atlas, which was published for the first time in 1895, includes some 20,000 updates, of which 3,500 are name changes. It contains both social and demographic information.

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Global warming will bring stronger storms and tornadoes
Washington (AFP) Aug 30, 2007
Violent storms and tornadoes may become more common as the earth's climate warms, a study by NASA scientists showed Thursday.

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