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News ID: 4641
Publish Date: 05 September 2017 - 11:59
Rising temperatures linked to climate change are most likely responsible for steadily falling water levels in the Caspian Sea, a new study contends.
ECO-IEST: Rising temperatures linked to climate change are most likely responsible for steadily falling water levels in the Caspian Sea, a new study contends.

Water levels in Earth’s largest inland body of water dropped by 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) from 1996 to 2015 to a level only about 1 meter above the historic low set in the late 1970s. The falling water level is due to increased evaporation associated with rising temperatures, the study reports.
 
Study co-author Clark Wilson, a geophysicist at the University of Texas at Austin, said, "The real control that causes it to go up and down over long periods of time is really most likely the evaporation, which is almost completely dominated by temperature,” the American Geophysical Union says in a press release.
 
The average yearly surface temperature over the Caspian rose by about 1 degree Celsius from 1979-1995 to 1996-2015, likely as a result of climate change, according to the study’s authors.
They argue that if current evaporation rates continue for another 75 years, the shallow northern part of the sea could disappear completely.
 
The study provides the first convincing evidence that increased evaporation contributes more to the Caspian’s falling water level than changes in river discharges or precipitation, said Anny Cazenave, a space geodesist at the Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees in Toulouse, France, who was not involved in the study.
 
Spawning grounds for 90 percent of the world’s sturgeon population are located in the northern Caspian, much of which is less than 5 meters deep.
 
Poaching and the illegal caviar trade are held responsible for worrying falls in the sturgeon population. The five Caspian littoral states met last year to discuss measures to stem the problem.
 
Rich oil and gas deposits below the Caspian seabed have transformed the economies of countries such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The latter’s Kashagan oil field, claimed to be the largest outside the Middle East, resumed operations last October. Technical and environmental issues had slowed the giant project.



Source: TolNews
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