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Cote d'Ivoire

An image of West Africa’s Ivory Coast region in 2007 when wet season rains came late. Instead of beginning in February, the rainy season did not start until March, and steady rains did not begin until late March. Though the rain had started to alleviate the drought, vegetation was still depressed in parts of Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) between 22 March and 6 April 2007, when NASA’s Terra satellite captured the data used to make this photo. The image compared vegetation at that time to average conditions recorded since 2000. Areas where plants were growing more slowly or more sparsely than average showed up as brown, while areas where vegetation was denser than average were green. The brown tint dominating the image indicates that plants through most of the country were more sparse than normal. The three major rivers that cross the country from north to south are all but invisible leaving only central Lake Kossou conspicuous as a major water body. Among the crops affected by the lack of rain was West Africa’s cocoa crop. About 70 percent of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa and Cote d’Ivoire is a top grower. Image courtesy of NASA.