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Table of contents
  • Context (HT): Climate change is increasing the disappearance of the Aral Sea.
  • The Aral Sea is an endorheic lake (lake with no outlet) located in the heart of Central Asia, roughly 200 miles east of the Caspian Sea.Aral Sea Map
  • It is bordered by Kazakhstan on the north and Uzbekistan on the south.
  • It was formerly a large saltwater lake.
  • Once the fourth largest body of inland water in the world, it lost almost three-quarters of its volume and approximately half of its area.
  • It has receded into three separate lakes: the Greater Sea had divided into a long, narrow, western lake and a larger, broader, eastern lake, with the remains of the Lesser Sea to the north.
  • Reasons: The drying up of the Aral Sea resulted mainly from the overuse of its two main tributaries—the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya—for irrigation.

Impacts of drying of Aral Sea

  • Drying up of the lake caused salt concentrations of the remaining water to rise drastically which killed off the once-abundant supplies of freshwater fish & devastated regional fishing industry.
  • Salt and residues became airborne as dust storms blew the pollutants as far away as the Himalayas.
  • Annual precipitation, already low, dropped even more.
  • Winters became longer & colder, and summers hotter & shorter, affecting the growing season.

Shrinking of Aral Sea

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