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Posted Sat Sep 27 2014: from Yale360:
Aral Sea Basin Dry for the First Time in Modern History, NASA images show
For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has gone completely dry, as this NASA satellite image captured in late August shows. The Aral Sea is an inland body of water lying between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in central Asia. It was once one of the four largest lakes in the world, but it has been shrinking markedly and dividing into smaller lobes since the 1960s, after the government of the former Soviet Union diverted the region's two major rivers to irrigate farmland. One Aral Sea researcher suggested that it has likely been at least 600 years since the eastern basin entirely disappeared. Decreasing precipitation and snowpack in its watershed led to the drying this year, and huge withdrawals for irrigation exacerbated the problem.
[Read more stories about: drought, water issues, unintended consequences, bad policy]

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