Formerly the fourth largest lake in the world with an area of 68,000 km2 (26,300 sq mi), the Aral Sea began shrinking in the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects.
What was the major cause for the Aral Sea drying up?
Once the fourth largest lake in the world, Central Asia’s shrinking Aral Sea has reached a new low, thanks to decades-old water diversions for irrigation and a more recent drought. Satellite imagery released this week by NASA shows that the eastern basin of the freshwater body is now completely dry.
Why is the Aral Sea disappearing?
The disappearance of the Aral Seas has far reaching impacts on the communities that rely on the sea for its natural resources. Because of a combination of climate change and the drastic re-direction of water, the Aral sea changed from the fourth largest inland lake, to two bodies of water a tenth of its original size.
What destroyed the Aral Sea?
In October 1990 Western scientists confirmed the virtual disappearance of the Aral Sea in Soviet Central Asia, formerly the fourth largest inland sea in the world. The loss of sea water was the result of 60 years of intensive agriculture and pollution by the Soviet authorities.
Will the Aral Sea come back?
Today, the North Aral Sea in Kazakhstan has been revived, with water and economy returning to Aralsk. But the South Aral Sea in Uzbekistan is almost completely desiccated, and its residents are choking on the air.
What lives in the Aral Sea?
Two dozen species thrived in its waters, including caviar-rich sturgeon, pike perch, and silver carp, known locally as fat tongue. The sea spread over more than 26,000 square miles, and ships could travel 250 miles from the northern port of Aralsk, in Kazakhstan, to the southern harbor of Muynak in Uzbekistan.
Which Sea is drying up?
In 2014, the eastern lobe of the South Aral Sea completely disappeared. Water levels in summer 2018 were not as low as they might have been, following a round of seasonal snowmelt in the spring. As the Aral Sea has dried up, fisheries and the communities that depended on them collapsed.
Who is to blame for the Aral Sea shrinking?
By establishing a program to promote agriculture and especially that of cotton, Soviet government led by Khrouchtchev in the 1950s deliberately deprived the Aral Sea of its two main sources of water income, which almost immediately led to less water arriving to the sea.
Is the Aral Sea getting bigger?
Another 13 km long dam was built in 2004, as well as several hydraulic installations on the river bed that were financed by the World Bank. The North Aral Sea increased its level by four meters in only six months, increasing its size in one third in one year and recovering part of its aquatic fauna.
Is the Caspian Sea shrinking?
The Caspian Sea is actually the world’s largest lake. … Since the 1990s, water levels in the Caspian have dropped a few inches every year. A decline of 30 feet would uncover nearly 36,000 square miles of land — or an area the size of Portugal, the authors said in an article on The Conversation website.
How can we fix the Aral Sea?
There is no work under way to restore the southern region. It has always looked like a lost cause. So Aladin says it will keep shrinking and getting saltier until only brine shrimp are left. Using less water to irrigate crops could restore the entire Aral Sea, says Micklin.
How big was the Aral Sea originally?
What are the effects of the Aral Sea shrinking?
The shrinking Aral Sea has also had a noticeable affect on the region’s climate. The growing season there is now shorter, causing many farmers to switch from cotton to rice, which demands even more diverted water. A secondary effect of the reduction in the Aral Sea’s overall size is the rapid exposure of the lake bed.
Can you swim in the Aral Sea?
The Aral Sea is not a place for sunbathing or swimming. It is a disaster zone, a scar on the Earth, showing what the human hand can do.
How old is the Aral Sea?
The Aral Sea depression was formed toward the end of the Neogene Period (which lasted from about 23 to 2.6 million years ago). Sometime during that process the hollow was partially filled with water—a portion of which came from the Syr Darya.
How deep is the Aral Sea?