The Aral Sea (Kazakh: Арал теңізі, Uzbek: Orol dengizi, Орол денгизи, Karakalpak: Aral ten'izi, Арал теңизи) one of the largest saltwater lake in the world in the 60-70s. The Aral Sea is an endorheic salty sea.
It is located in Central Asia on the board of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Since the 1960s the water level of the sea and the amount of water in have fell, because of local residents and agricultural enterprises in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan had systematically increased cattle livestock, in a result, agricultural grounds was increased, which in turn requires a large amount of water for irrigation. The sharp increase in the pumped water from the main aquifer feeding arteries of the Aral Sea, namely from the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers, has led to this disaster. In basins there is a limit after which they can not recover in the natural way. Also, parallel with this problem was amplified catching fish, which could affect as contributing factor.
By 1989 the Aral Sea had separated into two isolated basins:
the North Aral Sea
the South Aral Sea
The pictures of the Aral Sea before and after. The dynamics of drying sea since the 60s: (carefully look at the picture and you see these changes)
Before shallowing The Aral Sea was the 4th largest lake in the world.
In June 2013 Deputy Director of the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences Petr Zavyalov said that the process of drying The Aral Sea has slowed. “The Analysis shows that the sea has come close to stability, since his mirror decreased that evaporation also did, even not very significant residual river runoff and groundwater flow allows balancing the sea”, - Zavyalov said. Despite the extremely high salinity of the water, The Aral Sea has formed its own ecosystem. “The Ecosystem of the Aral Sea is very specific but alive”, - Zavyalov said. While the expeditions of the Institute of Oceanology was found 40 kinds of phytoplankton, the large mass of zooplankton given mostly only one kind – cancer Artemia parthenogenetica.”
Because the Uzbek side didn't really understand that the sea is disappearing, in 2008 they decided to search of oil fields on their part of the Aral sea, they are likely to get discouraged the words of Zavyalov. Also there is a dangerous moment connected with this ecological disaster: Sea salt left at the bottom of the dried-up Aral Sea, which is spread in residential settlements and cities by the wind, thereby it negatively influences of human body.
As we know from the above, that the main reason of shallowing the Aral Sea is intensive irrigation of cotton and rice fields, thus increased salinity of the sea plays a significant role too.
We told about the current facts, what was in the USSR?
In the USSR the situation was got her beginning the deteriorating state of the Aral Sea quite simply not been disclosed the public, the first who focused on the ecological disaster was Gorbachev M.S., who declared about this problem to show how to changes the USSR in conditions of future changes and now it is not the same the USSR, a new society where evrybody can hear people's voices, of course it was heard because of Gorbachev had a hunger for the pr and he got it. Since 1985 after publicity scientists have seriously taken up this problem. By 1988 the level of the water in the Aral sea fell so that nobody has every seen it. Because of it the Aral Sea has separated on two parts are
the North Aral Sea (Small Aral Sea) and the South Aral Sea (Large Aral Sea).
In 2006 was observed the separation of western and eastern basins of the Aral sea, at that the eastern basin had the most amount of the water by reason of there are hollows, in fact the eastern part was shallow water. Furthermore, the volume of the water decreased almost in 10 times and salinity increased to 15 times (100 g/l).
When the URRS was fallen apart, it was in 1991, across the Aral Sea passed a watershed and it has simultaneously become possession of 2 newly formed states of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Further, the situation had continued to worsen due to began the struggle for water resources of the Aral.
The shrinking of the Aral Sea led to the disappearance of spring floods before had supplied marshes downstream of Amudarya and Sydarya fresh water and fertile sediments.
Decreased the inhabitants of the Aral Sea from 45 to 5 kinds of fish, as a rule it is consequence of reducing the water level and increasing the concentration of salt, the disappearance of spawning and feeding grounds.
Catching fish in the Aral Sea:
1960 – 40 thous. Tonnes
1970 – 25 thous. Tonnes
1980 – 10 thous. Tonnes
1990 - industrial fishing was not operational.
The most important fishery resources of the Aral Sea has been around here Black Sea turbot, imported into the sea in 1972, now there is no it, also as another kinds of fish.
Shipping as well as fishing in the Aral stopped due to have become shallow the main ports of the Aral Sea city: Muinak in the south, Aralsk in the north.
Especially it became not financially profitable, the ports were closed, the Aral ships are rusting.
Around the Aral vegetation has practically disappeared because of increased concentration of salt and lack of water.
Also, halved and local fauna, the climate has changed: summers became hotter, winters became colder. Extended temperature range and frequent abrupt temperature changes, decreased growing season, drought began to appear more often, reduced the level of humidity in connection with the reduced rainfall. Drainage water to irrigate the fields were filled with huge amounts of pesticides, many scientists believe it is the pesticides cause ecological disaster. Now, dust storms carry salt and pesticides, toxic chemicals, which one way or another into the lungs of people slow down the development of the local vegetation, which itself is the cause of the disease and the locals.
A bit of history about the Aral Sea according to opinion of archaeologists:
- 21 million. Years ago, the Aral Sea and the Caspian Sea was one.
- Before the 1573 Amu Darya on the sleeve Uzboi flowed into the Caspian Sea and the river Turgai - the Aral Sea.
- 1800 years ago - the Zarafshan River and the Amu Darya flowed into the Caspian Sea.
- the 16 - 17th centuries marked the island Barsakelmes, Kaskakulan, Kozzhetpes, Uyaly, Biyiktau, Renaissance, indicating that the next reducting the level of the sea.
- River Zhanadarya since 1819, Kuandarya since 1823 had stopped flowing into the Aral Sea.
- Further to the mid-1960s, the Aral Sea level was virtually unchanged.
In 1950 the Aral Sea was the fourth largest in the world (the area was 68 thousand. Km.kv)
-In 1930 began construction of irrigation canals in Central Asia, and reached its apogee in the 60s of the last century, and then the sea slowly began to shallow.
You can you how the Soviet government planned to increase the area of irrigated land in Central Asia, they increased from 4.8 million. 7 million. Ha, the need for water resources in the region increased from 60 to 120 cubic meters of water per year, of which 85% went only for irrigation, mainly used for growing fodder farm animals. In fact, the main reason of ecological disaster of the Aral Sea was irresponsible actions of human, spending the water for the meat industry are not comparable with the resources that people would spend if cultivated and used the land for their own food, for example, corn, potatoes, beetroot and etc. It has long counted all and proved that growing farm animals as food is great ecological consequences for the Earth than if a man would have tried it himself. Approximately time only reduces the use of water. It is clear that humanity will not make such radical conclusions and deny yourself the pleasure of eating meat. Of course not only farm animals have caused the disappearance of the Aral Sea and vegetable crops that are not destined as food animals, it is of course cotton is the main income to the budget of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, which also consumes water Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers to irrigate cotton. It is also a huge problem and cause of death of the Aral Sea began to pesticides, which still flies the surrounding areas of the Aral Sea and enter into the lungs of people living there.
Recovering the Aral Sea is human business, as man put his hand to destroying, now there is the task to recover it, scientists argue about whether we can restore it or not. And as is usually the case, some say that all this is real, others say that it is impossible, moreover, that refuse cotton can not be above the country. The beginning of the restoration of the Aral Sea, of course, will decrease in the consumption of water resources of Amudarya and Syrdarya, that in this economic situation is an impossible task.
Many media have reported that the next coming to ecological disaster is Lake Chad in Central Africa and the Salton Sea in California, USA. And again the main reason is overused of water and the activity of farmers.
Recent data of the Aral Sea by the end of 2015:
“ The level of water in the Aral Sea has increased from 38 to 42 m.
Mineralization of water decreased 23 decreased to 13 g / liter.
The distance to the main port of Aralsk was reduced from 90 km to 17 km, northern part of the Aral Sea is gradually coming.
Increased the number of fish produced in 2 times the number of fish processing plants has increased from 3 to 8. Fishermen returning from the Aral Sea to Lake Balkhash, restored 22 species of fish. "
has reported akim of Kyzylorda region of the Republic of Kazakhstan Krymbek Kusherbayev.
I wonder what after the bottom of the Aral Sea has opened eyes of mankind, on its bottom, archaeologists started to dig and found ... And they found Kerder Mausoleum (dated back to 11-14 century AD) and the settlement of Aral-Assar (dates back to 14th century AD)
In the composition "What I've Done" group «Linkin Park» ships were also used from the Aral Sea.
The pictures of the Aral Sea
The old photos of the Aral Sea the 60-70s
The new photos of the Aral Sea in 2015
How to get to the Aral Sea?
The best way to go through Uzbekistan.
1. Plane Tashkent - Nukus. On arrival in Beijing, you can book a tour by car from local guides
2. Train to Tashkent
Train: Tashkent - Kungrad, get off the the station Nukus.
Bus or taxi: Nukus - Muinak (is a former port town)
Booking the machine from the locals: Muinak - the Aral Sea (about 150 km) to go 2-2,5 hours, the price per person of about $ 100 (usually the price appoint local cab drivers)
The video about the Aral Sea: