Monday, 7 November 2011

Aral Sea

The Devastating Shrinkage of Aral Sea :

The Aral Sea is a closed system in the middle of an Asian desert. With two glacier-feed rivers, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, supplying fresh water to the sea, evaporation is the only natural means of withdrawal for the water. Due to global warming, shrinking the glaciers high in the Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains, the Aral Sea should be growing. However... the sea is shrinking at an alarming rate. Today it is the tenth largest lake in the world, but at one time it was the fourth largest.

The shoreline has receded 120 kilometers and the water level has fallen 15 meters. All 24 of its native fish species are gone and over 400,000 square kilometers of the former seabed are exposed. Today the area has been declared an ecological disaster zone—the most dramatic example of a natural area destroyed by humans.

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