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Aral Sea

The Aral Sea is an inland sea in Central Asia; it lies between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan[?], an autonomous region of Uzbekistan in the south.

The Aral Sea is badly polluted, largely as the result of weapons testing and industrial projects before the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The major ecological problem is that diversion of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers for irrigation has shrunk the sea's surface area by approximately 60 percent, and its volume by almost 80 percent. In 1960, the Aral Sea was the world's fourth-largest lake, with an area of approximately 68,000 km2; by 1998, it had dropped to 28,687 km2, and eighth-largest. Over the same time period, the salinity of the Aral Sea has increased from about 10 g/l to about 45 g/l.

In 1987, the continuing shrinkage divided the lake into two separate bodies of water; an artificial channel was dug to connect them, but may not last much longer, as the lake continues to shrink.

The land around the Aral Sea is also heavily polluted.

Former harbor in Uzbekistan: Moynaq[?]

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