Collapse of the Aral Sea

             The breakup of the Former Soviet Union has forced those now independent states into a state of confusion. Republics that were once one nation now are separate governments. They now must compete for trade alliances, industrial resources, financial resources, and most importantly, agricultural resources. An area of developed concern is the Aral Sea. The Aral Sea was once the fourth largest lake in the world, located in Kazakstan and Uzbekistan, but between 1960 and 1990, the Aral Sea dropped into the sixth position. By 1980, more than 95 percent of the inflow into the Aral Sea was diverted for irrigational purposes. Due to financial competition, and policies that gave preference to irrigation for agriculture, the Soviet Satellites withdrew unprecedented amounts of water from the two rivers feeding the Aral Sea. These two rivers were the only sources of inflow into the Aral Sea; their names are Syr Darya and Amu Darya. Much of the biological diversity has disappeared, of the 24 different species that once thrived in this lake, only four remain. If these processes continue, this lake has the potential to become a lifeless brine lake. There are many different by-products of this disaster ranging from the decline in fish population diversity to a rise in the amount of brutal sand storms to declining human health in the area.
             Since the collapse of the Aral Sea, millions of people living in the surrounding area have developed some type of health problem. From mild allergies to thyroid cancer, these effects are serious. Scientists have determined a major contributor to the cause of these diseases are winds that whip the salt on the receding shoreline into the air, creating blinding sand storms. Since the 1960s the amount of occurrences of these storms have increased sixty fold. The salt is carried over a hundred miles and is deposited on land where it reduces the productivity of the land.
             The main reason for diverting the water flow into ...

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Collapse of the Aral Sea. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:28, September 23, 2019, from