Earth Snapshot RSS Feed Twitter

Search Results for ""caspian sea"":

Global Warming and North Caspian Sea Ice – March 3rd, 2013

46.1N 50.8E

March 3rd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Lakes

Caspian Sea – February 28th, 2013

Vivid green and blue sediments and algae peek out from below the ice covering the northern part of the Caspian Sea. Higher winter temperatures, possibly related to changes in global climate observed in recent years, have caused thinner ice coverage. Scientists have demonstrated a downward trend in ice coverage since the 1930s. This has implications for endemic wildfire, for example by restricting the traditional reproduction grounds of the Caspian seal in the shallow waters of the northern Caspian (click here for more information).

Climate Change’s Effects on Caspian Sea – February 6th, 2013

42.0N 50.0E

February 6th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day

Caspian Sea – January 25th, 2013

Containing some 18,800 cubic miles of water and covering more than 143,000 square miles, the Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water on Earth. The Caspian is fed by 130 rivers, the most significant being the Volga, which enters from the north and accounts for about 80 percent of the inflowing waters.

A concern about the Caspian Sea is that, like its neighbor the Aral Sea, it may be on a path toward drying out. Dams built by the Soviet Union caused the sea to shrink dramatically in a mere thirty years, and today river water that feeds the Caspian is still being diverted for agriculture and other purposes, or is evaporating from upstream reservoirs.

But other scientists have concluded that the fate of the Caspian hinges not on dams but on climate change. Climate change may alter rainfall and the rate of water evaporation in river watersheds as well as evaporation from the sea itself. A one-foot drop in the Caspian Sea level in the second half of 2010 was attributed to unusually hot spring temperatures.

Higher temperatures during the past few years have also warmed the upper layer of the sea to greater depth, with adverse effects for certain aquatic taxa. The higher temperatures—and, especially in the south, the consumption of grazing zooplankton by M. leidyi—have also led to blooms of phytoplankton (eutrophication) in both the northern and southern parts of the Caspian (click here for images), which cuts oxygen levels needed by other organisms. Promoting eutrophication is the inflow of organic material from rivers and onshore industry and even untreated sewage from settled areas.

In addition, a trend toward warmer winters seems to be reducing the seasonal ice cover that forms in the northern section of the sea—ice cover that is prime breeding habitat for the seals (click here for more information). Such ice can be observed in this image.

Dust Creates Streaks Over Karabogas Bay, Caspian Sea – March 28th, 2012

42.0N 50.0E

March 28th, 2012 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day, Lakes

Dust Over Arabian Peninsula - March 24th, 2012

The lighter colored streaks over the blue Karabogas Bay (upper right corner) are plumes of dust blowing from the mainland, across the bay, and over the Caspian Sea. Also of interest in the sea is a milky blue color in the lower right quadrant, probably a mix of sediments and phytoplankton – as sediments add nutrients to the water, they encourage phytoplankton growth.

Patterns in Caspian Sea Sediments and Algae – January 1st, 2012

38.1N 53.4E

January 1st, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Phytoplankton, Sediments

Caspian Sea - December 30th, 2011

This image focuses on the southeastern shores of the Caspian Sea, the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It has a surface area of 371,000 km2 (143,200 sq mi) (not including Garabogazköl Aylagy) and a volume of 78,200 km3 (18,800 cu mi).

It is in an endorheic basin (it has no outflows) and is bounded to the northwest by Russia, to the west by Azerbaijan, to the south by Iran, to the southeast by Turkmenistan, and to the northeast by Kazakhstan. Here, sediments and algal growth cause interesting patterns in the waters near the southeastern shoreline.

Dust Plume from Turkmenistan Over Caspian Sea – August 17th, 2011

39.4N 53.1E

August 17th, 2011 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day

Caspian Sea - July 26th, 2011

A plume of dust blows off a peninsula in Turkmenistan’s Balkan Province, near the city of Hazar, and over the Caspian Sea. Although most of the dust blows due northwestward, some can be seen moving southeastwards in a circular motion.

Visible along the southern shores of the sea are the Alborz Mountains. This mountain range forms a barrier between the south Caspian and the Qazvin-Tehran plateau. It is located in northern Iran and stretches from the borders of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the northwest to the southern end of the Caspian Sea, and ending in the east at the borders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.