Caspian Sea

The caspian sea covers a vast strategic area in central Asia. It is the world's largest inland sea at around 386,400 square kilometers. An immense body of water—with many of the same properties of an ocean—it varies in salinity, climate and temperature from northern to southern latitudes. Before the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Caspian was effectively a Soviet lake, with only the southern strip of coastline controlled by Iran. After 1989 the newly formed, independent countries of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan all shared the Caspian, vastly complicating the indeterminate legal status of the sea. This legal problem is one of the main reasons for the increasingly alarming environmental crisis affecting the sea and the surrounding coastline. However, a long history of shortsighted exploitation ...

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