Fishing boat in the Aral Sea, 1994

Fishing boat in the Aral Sea, 1994

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Rusting fishing boat in the dry Aral Sea. View of an abandoned fishing boat stranded in a desert in what was the Aral Sea. The Aral Sea was a lake lying between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south. Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world, with an area of 26,300 sq miles, the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. By 2007, it had declined to 10% of its original size. By 2009, the south eastern lake had disappeared and the south western lake had retreated to a thin strip at the extreme west of the former southern sea. The shrinking of the Aral Sea has been called one of the planet's worst

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Keywords: 1990s, 1994, 20th century, abandoned, after, aral sea, arid, boat, desert, desertification, dried up, dry, environmental disaster, environmental science, fishing boats, geographical, geography, hydrological, hydrology, impact, industrial, industry, kazakhstan, landscape, novosti, projects, rusted, rusting, rusty, shrunk, soviet irrigation project, soviet union, vessel

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