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Three Basins of the Shrinking Aral Sea – July 7th, 2010

46.7N 61.6E

July 7th, 2010 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Aral Sea - June 30th, 2010

Aral Sea - June 30th, 2010

The multiple lakes and ponds in the upper half of this image used to be one large body of water: the Aral Sea. Once one of the largest bodies of water on the planet, it is now at less than 10% of its original size.

The inland sea first divided into northern and southern sections; the latter further divided into eastern and western basins in 2003. All three of these sections are visible here.

The lake in the lower left quadrant is the Sarygamysh Lake. To its east, and south of the Aral Sea, is the Amu Darya River, whose banks are flanked by irrigated green land, in contrast with the surrounding desert. As the Aral Sea shrinks, the nearby lands experience more and more desertification.

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