Drying of the Aral Sea, aerial photograph

Drying of the Aral Sea, aerial photograph

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Credit: MASSIMO BREGA/EURELIOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Drying of the Aral Sea. Aerial photograph of the landscape created by the drying up of the Aral Sea. The Aral Sea, an inland sea that was 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 shoreline has receded by over 100 kilometres, leaving the inhabitants of former fishing ports 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.

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Keywords: 21st century, aerial photography, aral sea, arid, artificial, asia, asian, bird's eye view, central asia, climate, desert, desertification, disaster, dried up, drought, ecological, ecology, environment, environmental, geographical, geography, grass, land, landscape, man-made, manmade, marsh, meteorological, meteorology, sand, sandy, scrub, swamp, uzbek, water, weather

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