Facts about the Aral Sea
The Aral Sea is situated in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia in an arid environment dominated by steppe and desert. Naturally, the lake is feed by the rivers of Syr Darya and Amu Darya.
Once, the Aral Sea was the fourth largest lake in the world with an area of approximately 68,000 square kilometers, but today the area is significantly reduced to about 10-20%. The triggering effect was a markedly reduction in the water supply from the rivers. The water supply from precipitation is very minimal.
Back in the 60’s, the Russians began a comprehensive project aimed to cultivate the steppe areas in Central Asia for cotton production.
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Shrinking of the Aral Sea
Due to the construction of big canal and lock systems along the river the water supply to the Aral Sea has been significantly reduced. Thus, the majority of the water in the rivers was used for irrigation.
Because of the arid climate conditions, the evaporation exceeds clearly the water supply which resulted in a sharp increase in the lake’s salt balance. The increasing salt concentration has a major impact on the flora and fauna. Huge salt depositions are accumulated, which make Aral Sea one of the biggest salt lakes in the world.
Around the countryside which previously was covered by water you can see scattered rusty ships in the lost Aral Sea (so-called ghost ships) partly covered by sand dunes and salt deposits.
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Worst Ecological Disaster
Aral Sea is an example of a regional environmental disaster and here are some Aral Sea disaster facts. Aral Sea environmental disaster is actually among the worst ecological disasters. It proves that wrong political decisions might have a huge impact on the natural ecosystem.
In addition to the natural consequences, the reduction of the lake’s water content also has a major influence on society. Thus, the locals are living of fishery and many jobs and money have been lost simply as a result of the lost lake.
Aral Sea Pictures
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Where is the Aral Sea located
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