Environmental degradation in the Aral Sea basin has been a touchstone for increasing public awareness of environmental issues. The Aral crisis has been touted as a 'quiet Chernobyl' and as one of the worst human-made environmental catastrophes of the twentieth century. This multidisciplinary 1999 book comprehensively describes the slow onset of low grade but incremental changes (i.e. creeping environmental change) which affected the region and its peoples. Through a set of case studies, it describes how the region's decision-makers allowed these changes to grow into an environmental and societal nightmare. It outlines many lessons to be learned for other areas undergoing detrimental creeping environmental change, and provides an important example of how to approach such disasters for students and researchers of environmental studies, global change, political science and history.
• Multidisciplinary case study of a very famous environmental disaster • No other such study exists
Introduction Michael Glantz; 1. Sustainable development and creeping environmental problems in the Aral Sea region Michael Glantz; 2. Changes of landscape composition of the Aral Sea Basin in connection with ecological disaster Elisabeth A. Vostokova; 3. Alteration of water level and salinity of the Aral Sea Vitalyi N. Bortnik; 4. Desertification in the Aral Sea region Asomitdin A. Rafikov; 5. Climate fluctuation and change in the Aral Sea Basin within the last 50 years Alexsander N. Zolotokrylin; 6. Priaralye ecosystems and creeping environmental changes in the Aral Sea Nina M. Mozikova; 7. Public health in the Aral Sea coastal region and the dynamics of changes in the ecological situation Leonid I. Elpiner; 8. The impact of political ideology on creeping environmental changes in the Aral Sea Basin Igor S. Zonn; 9. Change of the rivers' flow in the Aral Sea Basin (in connection with the problem of quantitative assessment and consideration of environmental after-effects) K. V. Tsytsenko and V. V. Sumarokova; 10. Fish population as an ecosystem component and economic object in the Aral Sea Iliya Zholdasova; 11. Creeping environmental changes in the Karakum Canal's zone of impact Nikolay S. Orlovsky; 12. Environmental changes in the Uzbek part of the Aral Sea Basin Anatolyi Krutov; 13. Creeping changes in biological communities in the Aral Sea N.V. Aladin; Index.