The Aral Sea



The Aral Sea lies in between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The northern part of the sea is located in Kazakhstan while the southern part is in Uzbekistan. It was the fourth-largest sea in the world. But, the sea is no more the real sea now. The water area was about 60 km2 in the  1970s which has reduced to only 9 km2 now.

Aral Sea condiction in 1970's
Aral Sea in 1973 (Image Source: Google Earth, NASA)
Image of 2021
Aral Sea in 2021 (Image Source: Google Earth, NASA)

Changes of the Aral Sea

The changes in the sea are quite different than the rivers in the tidal area. Human interventions made this sea into a desert as a major irrigation project was executed to divert water for irrigation.

Besides, satellite images in the last five decades show that the water has reduced by roughly 7% as it was in 1973. Additionally, the eastern and southern parts become desert. The eastern part is now called the Aralkum desert. This tells that the environment of the sea declines with the ongoing tasks by a human.

Aral Sea in 1984 (Image Source: Google Earth, NASA)
Image showing the condition in 1995
Sea in 1995 (Image Source: Google Earth, NASA)
Aral Sea in 2001
Condition in 2001 (Image Source: Google Earth, NASA)
2010 Image
Satellite Image of 2010 (Source: Google Earth, NASA)
Sea in 2015
Image of 2015 (Source: Google Earth, NASA)

The Declining effect of the Aral Sea

Moreover, the declining effect of the sea also affects the people living around it. Reduction of the production of fish and high saline water triggers the suffering of people. Most importantly, pollution of the water by farming practices also brings health hazards and environmental degradation.

In addition to that, old ships are also present in the desert that present the condition of the sea. At the same time, the size of the ships also gives the data of the depth on the sea at that time.

Ship Remains in desert (Source: Salem Alziyadi, Google Earth)
Old Ships
Old Ships still exists (Source: Kent Lew, Google Earth)

However, Kazakhstan built a dam at the beginning of the 21st century to restore the lake which increases fish production.

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