30 Sep '14, 4pm

Earth's fourth-largest lake is almost completely dry @TheWeek More:

Earth's fourth-largest lake is almost completely dry @TheWeek More:

In the 1960s, the Soviet Union undertook a major water diversion project on the arid plains of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The region’s two major rivers, fed by snowmelt and precipitation in faraway mountains, were used to transform the desert into farms for cotton and other crops. Before the project, the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya rivers flowed down from the mountains, cut northwest through the Kyzylkum Desert, and finally pooled together in the lowest part of the basin. The lake they made, the Aral Sea , was once the fourth largest in the world. Although irrigation made the desert bloom, it devastated the Aral Sea. This series of images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite documents the changes. At the start of the series in 2000, the lake was already a fraction of its 1960 extent (black line). The Northe...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/a...

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The Aral Sea continues its shocking disappearing act.

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