Aral sea drought, beached boat

Aral sea drought, beached boat

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Credit: JVZ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aral Sea drought. Beached boat in a part of the Aral Sea which was once covered in water. The Aral Sea lies between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It was once the fourth largest inland sea in the world, with a surface area of 66,000 square kilometres. Extensive use of irrigation schemes upstream on the sea's feed rivers have drastically reduced the lake's water supply. The lake only loses water by evaporation, but its volume still shrank by 76% between 1960 & 1995. A 300% increase in salinity has killed many of the fish. The lake's shores are barren & largely uninhabited. Exposed beds of salt and dust are the source of huge toxic dust storms. Photographed in 1990.

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