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The ARALKUM DESERT is a desert that has appeared since 1960 on the seabed once occupied by the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
. It lies to the south and east of what remains of the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Airborne contaminants * 3 See also * 4 References * 5 External links

HISTORY

Main article: Aral Sea
Aral Sea
§ Impact on environment, economy, and public health

While the level of the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
has fluctuated over its existence, the most recent level drop since the 1960s was caused by the Soviet Union building massive irrigation projects in the region. The severely reduced inflow subsequently caused the water level in the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
to drop. While the North Aral Sea
Aral Sea
is rising due to the Dike Kokaral , the South Aral Sea
Aral Sea
kept dropping, thus expanding the size of the desert, until 2010, when the South Aral Sea
Aral Sea
was partly reflooded. The water level of the South Aral Sea
Aral Sea
then began to drop again, this time more severely.

AIRBORNE CONTAMINANTS

The bed of the former Aral Sea
Aral Sea
in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
in 2004

The sands of the Aralkum and the dust that originates from it contain pollutants. The desert's location on a powerful east–west airstream has resulted in pesticides in the dust being found in the blood of penguins in Antarctica
Antarctica
. Aral dust has also been found in the fields of Russia
Russia
, the forests of Norway
Norway
, and in the glaciers of Greenland
Greenland
.

SEE ALSO

* Desertification
Desertification
* List of environmental disasters
List of environmental disasters

REFERENCES

* ^ Aral Sea
Aral Sea
State of Environment of the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
Basin. Regional report of the Central Asian States. (2000) Archived 24 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine