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Tuesday Map: Africa's changing climate

This week's Tuesday Map comes compliments of a new atlas, released today by the United Nations Environment Program. "Africa: Atlas of our Changing Environment," paints a grim picture of the African landscape, as climate change, deforestation, urban pollution, and refugee flows are all taking their toll.

Vegetation and forests in the Jebel Marra foothills in Western Sudan (below) have declined significantly from 1972 (left) to 2006 (right). The authors of the study attribute this change in part to an "influx of refugees from drought and conflict in Northern Darfur." Reuters reports that deforestation is occurring in Africa at twice the world rate.

While many people are familiar with the snows of Kilimanjaro, or lack thereof, climate change appears to be having an impact on smaller peaks as well. The second map illustrates a noticeable shrinking of the Rwenzori Glaciers, which border Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, over just an 18-year period.

Explore more climate change maps -- both in Africa and worldwide -- at UNEP's Web site.

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