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Aral Sea’s Demise is Eerily Picturesque from Space

posted: 03/31/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Aral Sea from Space
ESA

From Discovery News

The Aral Sea is shrinking, leaving a dried-up white lakebed where there used to be blue water. But in the eyes of a radar satellite, the sea's shores look like a colorful abstract painting.

Once the world's fourth-largest inland body of water, Central Asia's Aral Sea has been starving ever since the two rivers that fed it were diverted for Soviet irrigation projects in the surrounding desert region 50 years ago. Since 1960, it's lost about 90 percent of its volume.

As the Aral Sea has gotten smaller, fisheries and local businesses have suffered. The desiccated lakebed is quite salty and laden with pollution from agricultural fertilizer and pesticides, which make dust storms an even worse public health problem.

Click here for the full story from Discovery News

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