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  #1  
Old October 27th, 2009, 03:24 AM
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Thumbs up A shrunken sea is reborn !!

Standing on the shore under the relentless Central Asian sun, Badarkhan Prikeyev drew on a cigarette and squinted into the distance as one fishing boat after another returned with the day's catch.

Until recently, this spot where the fish merchant was standing, in a man-made desert at the edge of nowhere, represented one of the world's worst environmental calamities.

Now fresh water was lapping at his boots, proclaiming an environmental miracle _ the return of the Aral Sea.

The Aral Sea was once the world's fourth-largest body of fresh water, covering an area the size of Ireland. But then the nations around it became part of the Soviet Union. With their passion for planned economics and giant, nature-reversing projects, the communists diverted the rivers that fed the inland sea and used them to irrigate vast cotton fields. The result: The Aral shrank by 90 percent to a string of isolated stretches of water.

The catastrophe "is unprecedented in modern times," says Philip Micklin, a geography professor at Western Michigan University who has studied the Aral Sea for years.

Aralsk is a port that ended up 100 kilometers (60 miles) inland. But now, a dam built by the World Bank and Kazakh government is slowly resurrecting a small part of the sea, reviving the fishing industry and bringing hope to an area that some expected would simply dry up and blow away in the fierce, salty winds.

The returning water has crept to within 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) of Aralsk, also known as Aral, and the World Bank reckons it could reach the port in about six years.

"Finally, there is hope and a life to be made here." said Prikeyev, 49, waiting for his fishermen near the village of Akespe, 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of Aralsk. "Work is available for anyone who wants it."

Where the sea is being saved, the solution has proved elegantly simple.

The $88 million project launched in 2001 resulted in a dam to channel the precious waters of the Syr Darya river into the Kazakh section, rather than let them flow south and go to waste.

The five states of former Soviet Central Asia are in broad agreement about the need to coordinate use of the region's two life-giving rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya. In practice, however, little concrete collaboration has been achieved, meaning certain death for large part of the sea.

The centerpiece of the Aral salvation project is the concrete Kokaral dam. It's an unremarkable-looking structure that can be walked across in less than a minute, but its impact has been dramatic.

The rising water level has noticeably cooled the climate and lowered salinity sufficiently to sustain freshwater fish.

After the sea began to dry up in the 1960s, Aral villages withered as people migrated to the cities for jobs. The surrounding region became a searing dust bowl and fishing, one the few sources of steady employment, collapsed. Prikeyev tried running a chain of small shops, failed and went back to fishing, only to find the fish disappearing.

The land became a desert, baking in the day, freezing at night. Salt blown inland by the wind off the exposed seabed unleashed a scourge of respiratory diseases in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The drying-out has severely damaged plant and animal life and created huge salt and dust storms that can travel 500 kilometers (300 miles), Micklin said in an e-mail interview.

"When the sea returns to Aralsk," Prikeyev said, "I will write a symphony and get an orchestra to play it by the shore."

http://www.aol.in/news-story/from-ec...-reborn/638525

Last edited by ashdoc; October 27th, 2009 at 03:39 AM.
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  #2  
Old October 27th, 2009, 03:53 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

where the aral sea is....

uzbekistan.aral.sea.jpg

satellite photos -the red boundary is the original extent of the sea......now shrunken

1957 Aral Sea Shoreline(jpg).jpg
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  #3  
Old October 27th, 2009, 03:55 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

the sea is gone !!

aral_sea_01.jpg

as abandoned boat that once stood in the middle of the sea

aral_sea_13.jpg
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Old October 27th, 2009, 04:02 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

the original and shrunken areas seen side by side in satellite photoes

aral_sea_18.jpg

more abandoned boats because of lack of water

AralSeaDriedup.jpg
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Old October 27th, 2009, 04:07 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

vegetation grows where there was once water

aral_sea_02.jpg



aral_sea_05.jpg
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Old October 27th, 2009, 10:47 AM
Cooldude Cooldude is offline
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

Quite ironical, when elsewhere in the world, we are seeing water levels rising, whereas here its nature in reverse.

The commies apparently did a lot of damage to nature during the Soviet days. Hope this water body gets its lost glory back.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

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Originally Posted by Cooldude View Post
Quite ironical, when elsewhere in the world, we are seeing water levels rising, whereas here its nature in reverse.

The commies apparently did a lot of damage to nature during the Soviet days. Hope this water body gets its lost glory back.
Yes, they did a lot of damage to the environment. but they did it for a reason. BTW if you read about the way the Soviets brought the industrialization in USSR (am estimate says that in 30 years from 1920-50, Soviets made up 150 years of lack of technology to be at par with the rest of europe). For that to happen some things got to go.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 10:59 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BABU_HYDERABADI View Post
Yes, they did a lot of damage to the environment. but they did it for a reason. BTW if you read about the way the Soviets brought the industrialization in USSR (am estimate says that in 30 years from 1920-50, Soviets made up 150 years of lack of technology to be at par with the rest of europe). For that to happen some things got to go.
Not sure how much one can rely on Ian Flemings books, but all his stories confirm the same, especially relating to SMERSH
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:03 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

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Originally Posted by Rakhi View Post
Not sure how much one can rely on Ian Flemings books, but all his stories confirm the same, especially relating to SMERSH
nope its not from IAN Fleming books, i got this from reading various books about World War II
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:21 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

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Originally Posted by BABU_HYDERABADI View Post
Yes, they did a lot of damage to the environment. but they did it for a reason.
Nuclear pollution was apparently the hallmark of Soviet era including Chernobyl & parts of the Arctic ocean completely polluted.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:30 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

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Nuclear pollution was apparently the hallmark of Soviet era including Chernobyl & parts of the Arctic ocean completely polluted.
dont u remember the 5 mile island incident in USA. USA and USSR had their fair share of accidents during the learning phase of the technology.

Coming to the Arcitic ocean, it happened due to sudden collapse of the soviet union and they did not have any place to dump the used submarines or the polluted materials. It would be cleaned as the places that are polluted are a mainly ports with strategic importance to Russia.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 05:19 PM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BABU_HYDERABADI View Post
Yes, they did a lot of damage to the environment. but they did it for a reason. BTW if you read about the way the Soviets brought the industrialization in USSR (am estimate says that in 30 years from 1920-50, Soviets made up 150 years of lack of technology to be at par with the rest of europe). For that to happen some things got to go.
but they also did biological warfare experiments in the islands that once stood in the sea.

now those islands are part of the mainland due to the shrinking of the sea and there is danger that the diseases that were created as part of the biological warfare project might spread into the neighbouring areas.

a recent expedition to one of the former islands found live anthrax spores on the islands.
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Old October 28th, 2009, 12:21 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

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ouring areas.

a recent expedition to one of the former islands found live anthrax spores on the islands.
there are many scenarios in which anthrax spores (and the variety runs down to 50+ strains I guess) can be found in any part of the world at any given point of time. whether the strains found at site are purified and thus bio-weapon grade strains is something which the guys should have mentioned from wherever you have read this stuff....
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Old October 28th, 2009, 03:22 AM
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Re: A shrunken sea is reborn !!

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Originally Posted by sprite View Post
there are many scenarios in which anthrax spores (and the variety runs down to 50+ strains I guess) can be found in any part of the world at any given point of time. whether the strains found at site are purified and thus bio-weapon grade strains is something which the guys should have mentioned from wherever you have read this stuff....
I found it here-

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/...l-consequences

Below I have copy pasted the relevant lines from the article----

The increasing accessibility of the island from the mainland was of special concern because Vozrozhdenya had been a testing ground for Soviet biological weapons during the Cold War. In addition to testing done there on such agents as tularemia and bubonic plague, hundreds of tons of live anthrax bacteria were buried on the island in the 1980s. In 1999 still-living anthrax spores were discovered on the site, and scientists feared that when the island was no longer surrounded by water, land vertebrates could carry anthrax to populated areas.
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