Scientists warn about catastrophic drop in water levels of Caspian Sea
As the Caspian Sea shrinks due to climate change, Western European scientists are sounding the alarm, claiming the dropping water levels presage a fast-approaching ecocide and the extinction of unique local wildlife.
As the world warms and sea levels rise, the lands surrounding the Caspian Sea face the opposite question. Forecasters predict a sharp decrease in Central Asian precipitation and increased evaporation in the largest lake in the world.
By the end of the 21st century, the surface level of the Caspian could drop up to 18 meters, savaging food supplies and growing hostilities among the five littoral nations, which are fully unprepared, even oblivious of the problem.
The lake is predicted to shrink by around 25 percent at the end of the century, revealing 93,000 square kilometers of dry land, equivalent, according to scientists' estimates.
Scientists Matthias Prange, Thomas Wilke and Frank P Wesselingh wrote that these alarming rates of water level decline would threaten people, biodiversity and geopolitical stability in the Caspian Sea region.
Species like the Caspian seal, which is endemic to the region, will suffer as rising temperatures caused by climate change increase water evaporation even further.
“In Soviet times, large scale water diversions from Siberian rivers were proposed to deal with the shrinking Aral Sea to the east. But such large works – in the case of the Caspian Sea, a canal from the Black Sea might be considered – come with huge ecological and geopolitical risks,” the scientists stated.
Maritime Business World