Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Incredible Shrinking Aral Sea

Due to extensive irrigation projects, the Aral Sea in central Asia is shrinking. In 1960, it was the fourth largest lake in the world. Since then its surface area has shrunk more than 60%, and its volume by more than 80%.

In addition to decimating the fishing industry, the receding sea has left huge plains covered with salt and toxic chemicals – the results of weapons testing, industrial projects, pesticides and fertilizer runoff. These pollutants are then blown in the wind, causing respiratory illnesses including tuberculosis, cancer, digestive disorders, anaemia, and infectious diseases.

Via The Map Scroll

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