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The Aral Sea - once half the size of England

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:02 PM

www.dailymail.co.uk said:

It was once the world's fourth-largest lake, but Central Asia's Aral Sea has shrunk by 90 per cent in the past 50 years what has been described as one of the planet's 'most shocking environmental disasters.'

The sea, which borders Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and was once 26,000 square miles, has dried up significantly since the 1960s when the rivers that fed it were largely diverted in a Soviet project to boost cotton production in the arid region.

By 1997 it had shrunk to 10 per cent of its original size and split into a large southern Uzbek part and a smaller Kazakh portion.

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#2    Mike D boy

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:35 PM

A targic environmental disaster waiting to happen, the Aral Sea should been left alone and now the landscape including the man-made irrigation around the region is expected to vanish. The former USSR left a legacy of severe polluted areas by the Communists' intense industrial factory projects and nuclear accidents like the 1957 Ural'sk and 1986 Chernobyl explosions poisoned thousands of square miles/kms.

This is a repeat multiplied a 100 times of the doomed Owens Lake disaster of the late 19th/early 20th century, a dried up natural lake 200 miles north of Los Angeles long been a basin for Sierra Nevada melt-water...and the prize of diverted water to a thirsty metropolis by the Los Angeles Aqueduct completed in 1915.

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#3    lp21why


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Posted 04 April 2010 - 08:50 PM

It is now full of anthrax spores also and due to the high aridity, huge sandstorms full of these spores are travelling for miles.

The ghost towns that were once on the waterfront are very eerie.

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#4    Mike D boy

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:55 AM

Anthrax...sounds familiar, not the 90s-era rock band, but a bacterium known to be lethal and was mass produced by military science projects such as the US Center for Disease Control (CDC). I read somewhere on the Aral Sea had an island where the Soviets used to test, later store its' nuclear and biochemical weaponry from public viewing.

Closer to home is the dying-and-drying Salton Sea in the Cal. desert, a 240-sq. mile super saline lake formed by accident about a century ago by man made errors to divert the Colorado River's water flow away from its ancient Mexican source, Gulf of California. It has a similar fate, soon to produce lethal dust storms and air pollution, and could devastate the Imperial/Mexicali valley from being inhabitable.

Edited by ADMikey, 05 April 2010 - 01:33 AM.

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#5    Goblin-5


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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:44 PM

Well the Soviets screwed up their environment monumentally and the generaions that followed pay the price. Sound familiar? Keep that in mind when you see US moves to divert water from the Great Lakes to feed the MidWest and California (yes California!)
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#6    Princess Serenity

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:23 PM

I think I heard about this one day. It  was a documentary. And they were talking about a lake or ocean/sea that was diverted because of the Russian's involvment. And the water now contains something that's dangerous to the people. And its killing the children and everything. Horrible.

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