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    In this Jan. 12, 2016 photo, a fisherman walks along the abandoned boats in the dried up Lake Poopo, on the outskirts of Untavi, Bolivia

    Time's Up: Bolivia's Second Largest Lake Has Officially Evaporated

    © AP Photo / Juan Karita
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    Lake Poopo, which in the past has spanned an area of 3000 square kilometers, has completely dried up, the European Space Agency reported.

    Lake Poopo, the second largest lake in Bolivia, has been declared fully evaporated, the European Space Agency (ESA) reported on Monday.

    "The lake’s shallow nature, with an average depth of just 3 meters, coupled with its arid highland surroundings, means that it is very sensitive to fluctuations in climate," ESA reported.

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

    On Tuesday ESA published satellite images taken by its Proba-V miniaturized satellite, which was launched in May 2013 and is tasked with mapping land cover and vegetation growth across all the earth's surface every two days.

    This photo combo of satellite images provided by NASA Earth Observatory shows Lake Poopo filled with water on April, 12, 2013, left, and almost dry on Jan. 15, 2016, right, in Bolivia
    © AP Photo / NASA Earth Observatory via AP
    This photo combo of satellite images provided by NASA Earth Observatory shows Lake Poopo filled with water on April, 12, 2013, left, and almost dry on Jan. 15, 2016, right, in Bolivia
    The pictures from 27 April 2014, 20 July 2015 and 22 January 2016 show the lake gradually drying up

    "For 30 years there has been a process of dehydration, which has now found its peak," Raul Perez Albrecht, regional head of the Red Latinoamericana Ambiental environmental network, told DPA.

    "There is a clear link to climate change."

    Poopo's disappearance has been blamed on climate change, persistent drought linked to the warming of the El Nino climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean and use of the lake's water for mining and agriculture. 

    Albrecht said that refilling the lake depends on more rainfall and a greater flow of water from the Desaguadero River, which links Lake Poopo to its larger counterpart, Lake Titicaca.

    "If we're lucky, we might be able to save one third of Lake Poopo," he said.

    In 2002, Poopo was added to the Ramsar Convention's list of wetlands of international importance. The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental environmental agreement with a mission for "the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world."

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    lake, climate change, Bolivia
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