Astronaut Ricky Arnold captured from ISS the Aral Sea between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world, the Aral Sea has been shrinking since at least 1850 and the shrinking has accelerated since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. Satellite images taken by NASA in August 2014 revealed that for the first time in modern history the eastern basin of the Aral Sea had completely dried up. The eastern basin is now called the Aralkum Desert. UNESCO added the historical documents concerning the development of the Aral Sea to its Memory of the World Register as a unique resource to study this “environmental tragedy”.
Comparison of the Aral Sea in 1989 and 2014 is as follows.
The local scenery on the ground is as follows.