30 July 2006

Issyk Kul

The water level has been rising, and rising quickly, at Issyk Kul for the last 7 years. The general consensus is that the level of the lake had actually dropped quite a bit in the last several hundred years (fueling speculation that [more] drowned cities might be found from other level changes in the last few millennia). But now it has been rising, at a rate of about 12 cm a year, or 5 inches.

Some scientists attribute the rising to global warming and the melting of the glaciers in the mountains above the Tian Shan; others think mining in the area has contributed to it. Either way, if it continues at this rate for many more years, it could have a pretty serious affect on the area. Of course, this could simply be a short term change that won't have a huge impact.

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