Science and Nature

After revival, Iran’s colossal salt lake faces distress


Iran’s Lake Urmia has been on a rollercoaster in most up to the moment years. In 2013, the lake’s surface space, once 6100 square kilometers, or relating to the scale of Delaware, had shrunk by 90%, a trouble paying homage to that of the greater Aral Sea in Central Asia. To place the dying lake, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani launched a restoration initiative that has so some distance designate $1 billion. Now, Lake Urmia has a stronger pulse: Water ranges maintain risen, and final summer flamingos were noticed in vast numbers for the first time in years. Nonetheless the rebound would possibly well be fleeting. The greater water appears to be practically entirely the pause result of some years of surprisingly steady rains, a most up to the moment ogle concludes, but that pattern is already giving arrangement to drier stipulations. And Iran’s June presidential election is anticipated to herald a sprint-setter less dedicated to the lake’s restoration than Rouhani, who can not race for re-election beneath the nation’s constitution. “We’re at a tipping level,” says Somayeh Sima, a water sources specialist at Tarbiat Modares University. Even pausing restoration work for a yr or two, she says, “shall be harmful for the lake.”

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