Aral Sea dries up, leaves behind desert

The fourth biggest lake in the world, Aral Sea has dried up by 90 percent in the last 50 years and left behind a desert.

Aral Sea dries up, leaves behind desert

The fourth biggest lake in the world, Aral Sea has dried up by 90 percent in the last 50 years and left behind a desert.

Aral Sea has started to dry up since 1960s after banks of Amu Dar'ya and Syr Dar'ya rivers, which used to flow into this lake, were diverted towards cotton fields.

This caused Aral Sea to shrink by 90 percent. The area of the lake is today 12,100 square meters, its water volume is 110 cubic kilometers, and its deepest point is 24 meters.

However, these figures were respectively 68,900 square meters, 1,083 cubic kilometers, and 68 meters in 1960.

In the end, Aralkum, the youngest desert of the world, has emerged. Almost 100 million tons of salty sand caused an environmental disaster, caused several diseases, and increased baby mortality in the area.

The environmental disaster hampered agriculture and fishery, and regional people had to migrate.

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Last Mod: 18 Şubat 2011, 12:32
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