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Kara-Bogaz-Gol - water level variation over time Kara-Bogaz-Gol - water level variation over time
Comparing a series of satellite images from different periods a Californian hydrologist discovered in 1983 that a huge white spot had taken the place of the vast Kara-Bogaz- Gol (literally “dark gullet” in Turkmen) in the south-east corner of the Caspian. Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Oil production and forecasts - Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan Oil production and forecasts - Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan
For the Caspian Sea countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the extraction of oil represents a significant resource, and the production has been increasing since independence. Numbers should however be treated with caution, estimates changing frequently as new exploration work is carried out. The most recent forecasts for Azerbaijan have been more moderate, whereas new exploitation work will soon be starting in Kazakhstan.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ice cover on the North Caspian Sea Ice cover on the North Caspian Sea
Higher winter temperatures, possibly related to changes in global climate observed in recent years, have caused thinner ice coverage and restricted the traditional reproduction grounds of the Caspian seal in the shallow waters of the northern Caspian.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Caviar imports to Japan, European Union and United States Caviar imports to Japan, European Union and United States
The Caspian area is the world’s main producer of wild caviar (83% in 2003) and supplies the three largest markets, the European Union, Japan and the USA. The construction of several hydroelectric power plants and dams along the Volga river significantly altered the flow of water into the delta and destroyed about 90% of the sturgeon’s spawning grounds, which can be as far as several hundreds of kilometres upstream. This graphic displays the repor...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Caspian sea climate, mean annual temperature and precipitation Caspian sea climate, mean annual temperature and precipitation
With the Caspian Sea's north-south alignment, stretching over a distance of approximately 10 degrees, the water body crosses several different climatic regions. The northernmost regions, with Russia and Kazakhstan are characterised by dry and cold temperate continental cliamte. The south part of the sea, with Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan is mountaineous and much warmer. The most precipitation is in the eastern parts, primarily in the southea...
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Pollutants in sediments of the Caspian Sea (pesticides, nickel and chromium) Pollutants in sediments of the Caspian Sea (pesticides, nickel and chromium)
Sampled sediments in the Caspian Sea show that the accumulation is at its worst in the south and southwestern shores of this inland sea, off the shores of Iran and Azerbaijan. Sampled pollutants presented in this map are pesticides (persistant organic pollutants Lindane and DDT - POPs), and the heavy metals Chromium and Nickel.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Transportation projects converging on the Caspian Sea Transportation projects converging on the Caspian Sea
For many years, coastal navigation has connected republics in the former Soviet Union. It used the only outlet from the Caspian, the Volga-Don canal, which connects the Black Sea and the Russian canal system to the Baltic. It is still used to transport raw materials, timber, coal, grain, fertilisers, etc.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Population density and urban centers in the Caspian Sea region Population density and urban centers in the Caspian Sea region
Apart from two large urban areas – Baku-Sumgait and Makhachkala-Kaspiisk – and the Iranian coast on the southern shore, a very densely populated coastal strip where one agglomeration leads into the next, most of the population living on the shores of the Caspian is rural, with strong religious and family traditions actively maintained.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Variations in sea level for the Caspian Sea (1840-2004) Variations in sea level for the Caspian Sea (1840-2004)
The Caspian Sea has been endoreic – inwardly draining, without any outlet – since the Pliocene epoch (about 5 million years ago), prompting some specialists to treat it as the world’s largest lake. Studies of its geomorphology and hydrology have revealed alternating cycles of rising and falling water levels, raising many questions, scientific for some, more down-to-earth for those living on the shores.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Selected impacts of climate change in the Caspian Sea region Selected impacts of climate change in the Caspian Sea region
As the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases, the temperature in the European part of the Caspian Sea region will continue to rise, at least at first. Some researchers have recently expressed fears that the warm Gulf Stream current in the Atlantic Ocean may slow down due to the changes in the Artic environment and oceanic circulation.
01 Oct 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Water flow from the Caspian Sea to the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol, 1930-2000 Water flow from the Caspian Sea to the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol, 1930-2000
Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan. Soviet leaders maintained that this was “a useless caldron for evaporation, an insatiable mouth swallowing up the precious water of the Caspian Sea” and obviously to blame. The dam, finished in 1980 blocked the flow of the water between the Caspian Sea and Kara-Bogaz-Gol. This reduced the water levels in the bay while increasing d...
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Illegal trade of caviar, 2000-2005 Illegal trade of caviar, 2000-2005
It is not clear to what extent the temporary ban on caviar exports has boosted well established illegal domestic and international trafficking, obviously not accounted for in the official figures. The illegal trade in caviar threatens the sturgeon populations around the Caspian Sea.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Caspian Sea - salinity Caspian Sea - salinity
The Caspian Sea has internal drainage, which means that it does not have an outlet to the World Ocean. All water entering the sea accumulates or evaporates. The sea surface salinity in the sea exhibits a gradient, with the semi-encludes bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol having the most saline water. This bay was closed between 1980 and 1992.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Population by administrative region, Caspian Sea region Population by administrative region, Caspian Sea region
Several countries and provinces – Iran, Daghestan, Turkmenistan and parts of Azerbaijan – still enjoy very high population growth rates (in excess of 10 per 1,000). Many of the population tends to gravitate towards the Caspian Sea.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Potential environmental hazards in the Caspian Sea Region Potential environmental hazards in the Caspian Sea Region
Oil slicks glittering on the surface of the sea and thousands of hectares of soil penetrated by oil leaking from abandoned wells are just part of the pollution that people living around the Caspian Sea must endure. In addition there are various industries, particularly chemicals and mining, large-scale irrigated farming and untreated household waste. Combined with the effects of the oil, all these forms of pollution have a serious impact on the w...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Infant mortality in the Caspian Sea region Infant mortality in the Caspian Sea region
Even if over the last two decades, or perhaps longer, the fertility rate has dropped significantly, the authorities nevertheless have to cope with all the health, education and employment problems associated with a rapidly rising, youthful population. Infant mortality is still a serious issue in the region and an important indicator on the overall status of the health care system.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Oil spill off the coast of Apsheron peninsula Oil spill off the coast of Apsheron peninsula
Thousands of hectares of soil on Azerbaijan’s Apsheron peninsula are unsuitable for agricultural use due to oil spills. The largest of these oil spills happened in May 1996. Oil extraction is happening off shore, in the Caspian Sea, and the oil is transported by pipelines.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Kara-Bogaz-Gol, desertification while dammed 1980-1992 (Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan) Kara-Bogaz-Gol, desertification while dammed 1980-1992 (Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan)
Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan. In Soviet times it was decided to set up a dam to block the flow of saline water from the bay to the Caspian Sea, and this was completed in 1980. Much to everyone’s surprise the Kara-Bogaz-Gol bay dried up 10 times faster than had been forecast by the Institute of Hydraulic Affairs and by autumn 1983 it was all over. The pink flam...
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Total trade in sturgeon caviar, 1999-2003 Total trade in sturgeon caviar, 1999-2003
The caviar trade reportedly fell by about 70% between 1999 and 2003 but there is still every reason to monitor development of the sturgeon population and keep it on the list of endangered species. However it is not clear to what extent the temporary ban on caviar exports has boosted well established illegal domestic and international trafficking, obviously not accounted for in the official figures.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Comb-jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) spreading through the Caspian Sea (invasive species) Comb-jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) spreading through the Caspian Sea (invasive species)
The comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) is well adapted to the habitat (salinity, temperature, and food range) and reproduces faster than endemic species. As it eats the same food as them, it has had a drastic effect on their numbers, upsetting the entire food chain. The jelly is an invasive species, brought from North America by ships.
21 May 2010 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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