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The World is Losing its Mangroves The World is Losing its Mangroves
Mangrove forests occur naturally in intertidal zones along sheltered shorelines and in deltas in tropical regions. They are vital breeding grounds for fish and shrimp and also provide a buffer against coastal hazards such as storms, cyclones, wind and salt spray by reducing wind and wave action (Braatz et al. 2007).
20 Jun 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz assisted by Cecile Marin, Agnes Stienne, Guilio Frigieri, Riccardo Pravettoni, Laura Margueritte and Marion Lecoquierre.
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Salinity of the Black Sea Salinity of the Black Sea
Illustration in a set of graphics prepared for a pilot assessment report on the Black Sea drainage basin, for the UNEP Global Impact on Waters Assessment (GIWA). All data and information were prepared in close collaboration with the GIWA Black Sea team and the GIWA secretariat. The graphics were not used in this form in the final report on the Black Sea, published in 2005.
07 Nov 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Species diversity in the world's seas Species diversity in the world's seas
The graphic compares the amount of diversity of marine mammals, sharks, molluscs, birds, shrimp and lobsters in various sea regions. Coral reefs are among the most productive and diverse of all natural ecosystems. Recent decades have been catastrophic for them, however; some 10% of the world’s reefs may already have been degraded beyond recovery, and another 30% are in decline. Meanwhile biologically rich coastal wetlands, including mangrove fore...
28 Sep 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The inlet of the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol before and after the construction of the dam (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea) The inlet of the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol before and after the construction of the dam (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea)
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. The ensuing increase in the salt content of the southern part of the Caspian had biological consequences. In the spring of 1992, in view of the scale of the disaster, Turkmenistan, which...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Desertification in the Caspian Sea region Desertification in the Caspian Sea region
Contrasting rainfall trends have been observed in the north and south. Whereas rainfall over Russia has increased over the last century, already dry areas such as the coasts of Turkmenistan and Iran have become even drier. Dust storms pick up large amounts of salt and dust as they pass over the Kara-Kum desert and the Caspian Sea shore, depositing it in the Volga valley where it impairs the fertility of arable land.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Drought in Central and Southwest Asia Drought in Central and Southwest Asia
Turkmenistan and Iran have become drier. Dust storms pick up large amounts of salt and dust as they pass over the Kara-Kum desert and the Caspian Seashore, depositing it in the Volga River valley where it impairs the fertility of arable land.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Kara-Bogaz-Gol - restoration of previous water levels after 1992 (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea) Kara-Bogaz-Gol - restoration of previous water levels after 1992 (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea)
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. The ensuing increase in the salt content of the southern part of the Caspian Sea, to levels exceeding 15 grams per litre, had disastrous consequences for the sturgeon population. In the ...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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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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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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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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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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Trends in productivity 1981-2003 (greening and land degradation) Trends in productivity 1981-2003 (greening and land degradation)
Unsustainable practices in irrigation and production may lead to increased salinization of soil, nutrient depletion and erosion. An estimated 950 million ha of salt-affected lands occur in arid and semi-arid regions, nearly 33% of the potentially arable land area of the world. Globally, some 20% of irrigated land (450,000 km2) is salt-affected, with 2,500–5,000 km2 of lost production every year as a result of salinity (UNEP, 2008).
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The disappearance of the Aral Sea The disappearance of the Aral Sea
The demise of the Aral Sea in central Asia was caused primarily by the diversion of the inflowing Amu Dar’ya and Syr Dar’ya rivers to provide irrigation water for local croplands. These diversions dramatically reduced the river inflows, causing the Aral Sea to shrink by more than 50%, to lose two-thirds of its volume, and to greatly increase its salinity. At the current rate of decline, the Aral Sea has the potential to disappear completely by 20...
26 Jan 2009 - by GRIDA
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A World of Salt A World of Salt
Global water type by percentage. Estimates of global water resources based on several different calculation methods have produced varied estimates. Shiklomanov in Gleick (1993) estimated that: - The total volume of water on earth is 1.4 billion km3. - The volume of freshwater resources is 35 million km3, or about 2.5% of the total volume. Of these, 24 million km3 or 68.9% is in the form of ice and permanent snow cover in mountainous regions, a...
26 Jan 2009 - by Phillippe Rekacewicz, February 2006
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Blue Carbon Sinks Blue Carbon Sinks
The carbon captured by living organisms in oceans is stored in the form of sediments from mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses. Benefiting from the excellent conditions available to support plant growth, vegetated coastal habitats rank amongst the most productive habitats in the world, comparable in production to the most productive agricultural crops. Blue carbon sinks are strongly autotrophic, which means that these ecosystems fix CO2 as orga...
06 Oct 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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