What is being done to restore the Aral Sea?

During the past three decades, restoration of the Aral Sea ecosystem has focused mainly on afforestation of the drained seabed to mitigate the sandstorms that cause erosion and further degrade the fragile soils.

Has the Aral Sea made a successful comeback?

The Aral Sea as a whole will never completely recover. The shoreline has radically changed, and the South Aral Sea remains almost completely desiccated. The North Aral Sea is recovering thanks to the $86 million Syr Darya Control and Northern Aral Sea project, funded by the Kazakh government and the World Bank.

What part of the Aral Sea still survives?

Today, the North Aral Sea in Kazakhstan has been revived, with water and economy returning to Aralsk. But the South Aral Sea in Uzbekistan is almost completely desiccated, and its residents are choking on the air.

What has happened to the water that remains in the Aral Sea?

Not only was all this water being diverted into canals at the expense of the Aral Sea supply, but the majority of it was being soaked up by the desert and blatantly wasted (between 25% and 75% of it, depending on the time period). The water level in the Aral Sea started drastically decreasing from the 1960s onward.

How big is the Aral Sea now?

26,255 mi²
Aral Sea/Area

Will the Aral Sea refill?

Every river in this vast area drains into dusty deserts, or lakes like the Caspian and Aral Sea. The Aral Sea has been dwindling for decades, but one part of the lake is now growing again.

What has killed all 24 species of native fish in the Aral Sea?

All 24 species of fish endemic to the Aral Sea are now extinct. Dust storms spread respiratory diseases. And the local climate has been altered.

Are there any efforts to save the Aral Sea?

Satellite images showing changing water levels in the Aral Sea from 2000-2011. Is the damage reversible? Efforts have been made to save some of the lake. Kazakhstan built the Kok-Aral dike and dam, which saw fishing return to the North Aral as water levels increased in that part of the lake.

What are the consequences of the Aral Sea dam?

The consequences include the loss of a fishing industry, salt-laden dust affecting crops and human health, and an altered climate. A dam has increased water levels in a small part of the lake called the North Aral.

Where was the Aral Sea written off for dead?

(National Geographic) Use our resources to learn more about how the Aral Sea was written off for dead to begin with, and why it won’t ever fully recover. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit. The Kokaral dam sits near Aqbasty, Kazakhstan, where the North and South Aral Seas part.

When did the South Aral Sea start to shrink?

Especially large retreats in the eastern lobe of the South Aral Sea appear to have occurred between 2005 and 2009, when drought limited and then cut off the flow of the Amu Darya. Water levels then fluctuated annually between 2009 and 2018 in alternately dry and wet years. In 2014, the eastern lobe of the South Aral Sea completely disappeared.

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