China's Dust Bowl

Photograph by James Whitlow Delano

From steppe to sand
The Mongol farming village of Tongu-lugu-lar used to sit upon a vast, grassy plain. The grasslands have withered away — thanks largely to the disastrous environmental policies of Mao's Great Leap Forward (1958-1963) — and the village is now slowly being buried in sand.

Get the Latest Photos from
Get TIME photos and pictures of the week delivered directly to your inbox.