Located on the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea was once the fourth largest lake in the world.
With sharp retreat of Aral Sea since 1960s, the river bed dried up and the ecosystem seriously degraded. Under the influence of both climate change and human activities, the Aral Sea retreated rapidly from 1960 to 2004, but the retreat has slowed down since 2005.
Researchers from the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences systematically analyzed the evolution trend of the Aral Sea over the past 50 years and the driving forces of the slowdown of retreat through extreme-point symmetric mode decomposition (ESMD) method and the multiple linear regression model.
The results indicated that, from 1960 to 2004, the water area of the Aral Sea experienced a rapid shrinking process at a rate of 1087.00 km2/year. Since 2005, the shrinking rate has slowed down significantly (760.00 km2/year).
Continue reading at Chinese Academy of Sciences
Image via Wikimedia Commons