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Aral Sea Is Almost Gone – NASA

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Satellite images from NASA confirmed that Aral Sea has reached a new low now. NASA added that the Eastern basin of the South Aral Sea had completely dried.

The Aral Sea: August 2000 (left) vs August 2014 (right)

aral sea 2000 vs 2012

Aral Sea was once the fourth largest sea in the world. Sandwiched between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea is actually a lake, albeit a salty, terminal one. Aral Sea was fed by both the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya rivers flowing down from the mountains. But in the 1960s, the Soviet Union diverted both rivers — through a network of dams and canals — for use in cotton fields and other agriculture.

It is salty because evaporation of water from the lake surface is greater than the amount of water being replenishing through rivers flowing in. It is terminal because there is no out-flowing river. This makes the Aral Sea very sensitive to variations in its water balance caused either by climate or by humans.

Source: The Conversation