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Thursday, 16 December 2021

The Nile Delta is rapidly shrinking

Rapid urbanization and rising sea levels are causing Egypt to lose 2% of its arable land each decade, Nasa’s Earth Observatory highlighted in its ‘image of the day’ spot yesterday. The feature compares satellite images of the landscape as it appeared in 1984, and in 2021, revealing the speed and scale of farmland desertification in the Nile Delta. Urbanization — fueled largely by population growth, as well as unlicensed building on farmland — is one part of the problem. The other is rising sea levels caused by global warming and subsidence, resulting in saltwater intrusion, which has damaged an estimated 15% of Egypt’s most fertile regions.

If not addressed, desertification could lead to serious food security concerns, according to scientists. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that this is a crisis,” said Nasem Badreldin, a digital agronomist at the University of Manitoba .

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