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The desertification of the Aral Sea is labeled as the worst human driven ecological disaster of its kind. Originally in the 1960’s, The Aral sea was approximately 90% larger than it is today, and that change was directly linked to the Rice and Cotton cash crops in the region as well as Soviet Union governmental decisions to provide an area of independence for the west. In a documentary entitled ” The Collapse of the Aral Sea Ecosystem,” These effects are explained in details from crop failure, health deterioration and poverty from a once rich and fertile land, (Bowie, 2000). According to this film, The destabilization of this ecosystem began with the overuse of cotton and rice farms. Constant dams and Levy’s to supply water onto these farm lands for irrigation eventually choked the source of water to deteriorate. Salt tables in the water increased dramatically as the sea decreased in size, and area that was covered in water started to subside. The climate change and winds in the area would start to carry the sand up which contained pesticides and salt into the crop areas damaging them significantly. Also in tandem, the water contained too much salt to provide reasonable water with the correct PH and nutrients to supply these crops. Socially, the Aral Sea was a huge fishing industry at one point, and when the sea salinity began to change and the water started to reside, so did the fish population. This source of income had to be abandoned by a lot of fisherman because there no longer was any money in it. This dropped the population significantly with citizens leaving to find work elsewhere, and that cripples things further with tightening the noose around the economy. Health problems arose as well and actually doubled with cases of Tuberculosis and other communicable diseases. Some areas the Tuberculosis actually mutated to be able to fight off treatment of antibiotics.As we briefly talked about health effects on women in last weeks post, another case in point is made that in this analysis can tie into that discussion with credible evidence to support the claim because of lower iron counts in women leading to pregnancy and childbirth issues. Children are not receiving the proper nutrients from their own mothers breast milk because the food value in nutrition and calories has also depleted because of the over farming in the region. Again The amount of species within the sea itself has significantly decreased and well as the abundance of life in the ecosystem itself, much of which now is a barren dessert. As the region of the Aral Sea becomes more desolate, the people that remain in certain areas are cut off from aid medically because medicine is scarce and doctors don’t get paid enough. Food does not provide enough nutrients to help the citizens stay healthy so the risk of catching a illness or disease is significantly increased.Initiatives such as the International Aral Sea Rehabilitation Fund (IFAS) Sound promising and hope to reverse the spiraling downfall of the Sea itself, and is widely gathered support. There is a lot of work to be done however and the Sea has not stopped decreasing in size which begs to ponder if the effort will be able to aid or revert anything.References:Bowie, G. (Writer & Director). (2000). The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved fromhttps://fod.infobase.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=29877&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref=Asfray, A., Giri, C., Govil, K., Hartemink, A., Holmgren, F. Keita-Ouane, F…Zhongze, W. (2007).Land. In United Nations Environment Programme (Publisher), Global Environment Outlook 4: Environment for development (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.(pp.81-114). Retrieved from http://www.unep.org/geo/geo4/report/03_Land.pdf
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