Aral Sea • Aral Sea shrinks a little more

Every year the Aral Sea shrinks a little more due to 40 years of agricultural policies that let farmers in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The Sea is now so shallow that sediment appears almost ever-present, making the waters look milky tan and green. Discolor of sea.

Because there is no vegetation to hold the salt down, winds pick up it and dust sediment, creating dust storms that have negative effects on the residents of the region and the local climate.

The peninsula separating the two halves of the Sea was an island as early as 1996, and in 1960 was completely submerged. Technically a lake and not a sea, it was once the world’s fourth largest. Today, it is eighth, at best. This is a true-color Terra MODIS image from April 8, 2005.

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