Central Asia :: Kazakhstan
Caption
The Aral Sea, on the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, has diminished dramatically since the 1950s when its water was diverted for unfettered irrigation. By 2000, when this photo was taken, the surface area of the Aral had decreased by about two-thirds, and its volume by more than 80 percent. Today, only three lakes remain (covering less than 10 percent of the former surface area) and only one of these, the North Aral Sea (the deep blue area toward the bottom), has been partially restored. Image courtesy of NASA.
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