Thursday, May 19, 2011

Iran expert alarmed by 'critical' Caspian Sea pollution

The Independent via AFP: The level of industrial and oil pollution in the Caspian Sea has reached a "critical condition," an Iranian ecological expert warned, quoted by local media on Thursday. "In terms of pollution, the Caspian Sea is in critical condition," Reza Pourgholam, head of the Caspian Sea Ecological Research Institute, told Fars news agency.

Exploitation of oil fields and traffic of large oil tankers dumps 122,350 tonnes of potentially cancerous oil pollutants into the world's largest inland sea annually, Pourgholam said. The sea is also poisoned by large quantities of heavy metal just as dangerous as the hydrocarbons, he said, adding that "304 tonnes of cadmium and 34 tonnes of lead pollute the sea every year."

Pourgholam claimed 95 percent of the pollution originates from the sea's littoral states in the north and northwest - Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, home to a major offshore oil industry. The Islamic republic is only responsible for five percent of the pollution, by dumping agricultural waste such as fertiliser and pesticides as well as detergents into the sea, Pourgholam said….

The Caspian Sea from orbit. NASA's caption is: "The northern part of the Caspian Sea is plagued by a process called eutrophication, in which agricultural run-off rich in fertilizers stimulates rampant growth of algae in the water. The death and decay of these algae robs the water of oxygen, with obvious negative consequences for aquatic life. This image of the Caspian Sea shows swirls of green and blue near the mouth of the Volga River (top center), which indicate the presence of algae. The bright blue color of the northeastern part of the sea may be due to a mixture of plant life and sediment, for this is where the sea is most shallow

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks awful. I hate it that people are not giving our oceans and seas that much of an importance, considering that 50% of the air we breathe comes from those bodies of water. Check this video out: