The story of the Aral Sea that dried up and became dry land


,- Sixty years ago, the Aral Sea began to dry, leaving salty and rotting soil.

The lessons learned from here will help other regions of the world experiencing climate change.

Nowadays, the village of Karauzyak in the western part of Uzbekistan is a dusty place. Surrounded by a rugged landscape filled with dry slums and sandy soil.

Once, this village was on the coast of the fourth largest lake in the world, the Aral Sea.

Over the past 50 years, the lake, the Aral Sea, has dried up almost entirely, often referred to as the "worst environmental disaster in the world". Nowadays, it's hard to grow anything in Karauzyak.

Starting in the 1960s, Soviet officials shifted rivers that flowed into the Aral Sea to produce cotton in the nearby fields.

Without a river that regularly replenishes the Aral Sea, the large lake begins to evaporate, the water level drops drastically, leaving salting soil so that food crops cannot grow, the UN Chronicle quoted it as saying.

change makes this adaptation more urgent.

The average temperature in the Aral basin has risen by about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit since 1968. And the shrinking of the Sea itself has affected the climate.

Read also: Reasons behind the drought of the Aral Sea

As the water disappears, the air becomes drier and loses the cooling effect of the nearby lake, creating a spin of feedback that results in warmer and drier weather.

The sandstorms are now spreading toxic dust and heavy metals to nearby villages, while the downturn has caused salt to build up in the soil.

In 3.5 hectares of land near the village, a team of Japanese researchers planted this salt-loving crop, which is scientifically known as the halofit, to see if it can be a worthy crop for farmers in the region and even keep small crops.

Kristina Toderich, a halofit expert at the University of Tottori in Japan, explains why this salt-loving plant attracted the attention of scientists like her: "This plant doesn't need water. It does not need anything."

These plants help lock rare moisture in thirsty soil, and these plants can be planted without the use of excessive fertilizer.

Toderich is one of the leading researchers in a Japanese scientific collaborative project called SATREPS. Working with the Uzbek hydrometeorological service, UZGIP, the researchers collected real-time climate data and satellite images to better understand the conditions in the Aral Sea region.

The data covers how much water is left, how quickly the water disappears, and what kinds of plants are planted there.

Based on the results, the team developed a sustainable farming model in the region, recommending that farmers adopt new irrigation methods and grow crops that are more tolerant of salt and drought, said Kenji Tanaka, head of the SATREPS project.

Their primary objective is to revitalize areas that have been devastated by intensive agriculture, National Geographic quoted them as saying.


Source : National Geographic,United Nations

Previous Post Next Post