The Aral Sea in Asia was once the fourth largest lake on the planet. In less than 20 years, it has basically disappeared. Explorer George Kourounis visits the Aral Sea basin and examines this tragic eco-disaster.
This is a tale of man truly changing the environment. The vast Aral Sea in western Uzbekistan once supplied one quarter of the former Soviet Union’s fresh fish. However, the government diverted water from the lake to supply irrigation to cotton fields. Now, rusting fishing boats lie in the desert sands. The loss of the lake has devastated the local economy. Even worse, the dry sea bed has created many health issues among the people, due to the dry industrial waste and pesticides that the wind carries. The drying of the Aral Sea has changed the climate in the area around the former lake. The summers are much hotter and the winters much colder. Kourounis has to travel 150-200 km away from the original shore to reach the new shoreline of the Aral Sea. The lake is draining so fast, that you can see a big difference every month.