Satellite tv for pc pictures present Aral Sea basin ‘utterly dried’ | Kazakhstan
According to NASA, a large part of the Aral Sea has completely dried up for the first time in modern history.
Images from the US space agency’s Terra satellite, released last week, show that the eastern basin of the Central Asian inland sea, which stretched over Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and was once the fourth largest in the world, dried up completely in August. The images taken in 2000 show an extensive body of water that covers the same area.
“This is the first time the Eastern Basin has completely dried in modern times,” Philip Micklin, geographer emeritus at Western Michigan University, told NASA. “And it is probably the first time in 600 years that it has dried completely since the medieval desiccation was linked to the diversion from Amu Darya to the Caspian Sea.”
In the 1950s, two of the region’s main rivers – the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya – were diverted by the Soviet government to irrigate cotton production in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and starve the Aral. According to the World Bank, the sea level fell 16 meters between 1960 and 1996. The water level is believed to have dropped to less than 10 percent of what it was five decades ago.
A lack of rain and snow in the Pamir Mountains contributed to the particularly low water levels this summer, Micklin said.
A ship graveyard near Muynak in an area of the dry Aral Sea in Uzbekistan. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP
The NASA satellite began photographing the Aral Sea in 2000. At that time he had already separated into the northern part in Kazakhstan and the southern part in Uzbekistan. The southern area of the Aral was also divided into western and eastern areas.
Efforts have been made to improve conditions in the North Aral Sea, which has been hailed as a partial success. But water from Amu Darya and South Aral is still used to sustain Uzbekistan’s vital cotton industry. Although the water level fluctuates, few believe it could ever go back to what it was in the 1960s.
More than 60 million people live around the Aral Sea Basin. The water shortage has devastated the fishing industry in the area, leaving ship graveyards and large areas of salted sand that is easily blown by the wind and contributes to health problems.