Aral Sea. Satellite image of the Aral Sea (green), surrounded by the arid lands of Uzbekistan (lower left) and Kazakhstan (upper right). This inland salt water lake used to be the fourth largest lake in the world, but excessive use of its source rivers (the Syr Darya and Amu Darya, dark brown, upper and bottom right respectively) for irrigation has reduced its water volume by over a half. This caused the lake's waterline to recede by many miles over the last two decades of the 20th Century. Image taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite.
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