Drying of the Aral Sea, dust devil

Drying of the Aral Sea, dust devil

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Credit: MASSIMO BREGA/EURELIOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Drying of the Aral Sea. Dust devil on the dried up floor of the Aral Sea. This inland sea, once one of the largest in the world, is in the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In the 1930s the Soviet Union dug canals that diverted the sea's major rivers to irrigate cotton fields. From the 1960s, the sea started to shrink, and by 2004 some 75 percent of the sea's area had been lost. The inhabitants of former fishing ports struggle to survive in a dry, arid landscape. The salinity of the Aral Sea has tripled, the land is contaminated with salt and chemicals, the seasons are harder, and the old fauna and flora is disappearing to be replaced by desert animals and plants.

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Keywords: 21st century, aral sea, arid, artificial, asia, asian, blowing, central asia, climate, desert, desertification, disaster, drought, dry, dust devil, ecological, ecology, environment, environmental, geographical, geography, landscape, man-made, manmade, meteorological, meteorology, storm, swirling, uzbek, weather, wind

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