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ARAL SEA’S TRANSFORMATION INTO THE ARALKUM DESERT



  Jun 14, 2024

ARAL SEA’S TRANSFORMATION INTO THE ARALKUM DESERT



Decline of the Aral Sea

The Aral Sea, located on the Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan border, has drastically shrunk due to the diversion of its inflowing rivers, Amu Darya and Syr Darya, for agricultural use. Over the past 60 years, this lake has reduced to about 10% of its original size, leading to the creation of the Aralkum Desert.

Impact of River Diversion

Once the world’s fourth-largest lake, the Aral Sea’s shrinkage has resulted in the formation of the Aralkum Desert, covering 62,000 square kilometers (24,000 square miles). This new desert features sand dunes and is prone to dust storms that degrade local air quality.

Ecological Restoration Efforts

To combat the environmental crisis, efforts are underway to plant vegetation, such as black saxaul shrubs, to stabilize the soil and restore native plant and animal species. These initiatives aim to reduce the frequency of dust storms and promote ecological recovery.

Additional Factors

The environmental degradation has also led to economic and health issues for the local population, including loss of fishing industry jobs and respiratory problems caused by dust storms.




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