Climate change is shrinking the Caspian Sea. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the northeastern portion of the Caspian Sea.
The Caspian Sea is the world’s largest lake. It is referred to as a “sea” due to its size and relatively high salinity. However, the lake’s largest inflow is the Volga River and it has no natural connection to the ocean.
The lake serves an important regional water reservoir, biological resources center, and commercial hub that is bordered by Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Russia. Climate change is shrinking the Caspian Sea
As a result of climate change, researchers report that the water level could fall by 9 to 18 meters during this century, depending on the extent of future global warming.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Matthias Prange, is a senior research scientist in the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen.
“The Caspian Sea can be viewed as representative of many other lakes in the world. Many people are not even aware that an inland lake is dramatically shrinking due to climate change, as our models indicate,” said Dr. Prange.
The study authors propose that the Caspian Sea should be used as an example in scientific research to assess the vulnerability of certain regions to falling water levels.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory