Iran’s mission to UN warns of shrinking coastline of Caspian Sea

Iran’s mission to the UN office in Geneva has cautioned that the Caspian Sea’s water level has been dropping according to satellite images provided by the Iranian Space Agency.

In a post on X, the Permanent Mission of Iran to the United Nations Office in Geneva cautioned against the shrinking coastline of the Caspian Sea.

“12 August is celebrated in Azerbaijan Republic, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan as a Caspian Sea Day,” the mission said.

“On this day the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea ‘Tehran Convention’ entered into force,” it added.

“The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) images show the Caspian Sea’s shrinking coastline,” the diplomatic mission warned.

Measured by surface area, the Caspian Sea is the Earth’s largest inland water body, spanning about 371,000 square kilometers. Measured by economic, social, and biodiversity standards, it is priceless.

The Caspian Sea supports a commercially important fishery, supplies water for agriculture, and provides recreation and work opportunities for people living nearby. Its waters are also home to several threatened species, including an estimated 90 percent of the planet’s last-remaining sturgeon.

In the northern Caspian, shallow waters teem with mollusks, crustaceans, fish, and birds. Seals raise their pups on winter ice that usually only forms in this part of the lake. And all rely on a healthy water level for their existence. However, the Caspian Sea is rapidly shrinking.

Radar altimetry data collected by multiple satellites and compiled by NASA’s Global Water Monitor indicate that the Caspian’s water levels have been dropping since the mid-1990s. Other research suggests that the decline could continue as climate change brings warmer air temperatures and increased evaporation.

In one study, scientists ran several models to estimate future water losses due to climate change. They projected that by 2100, water levels in the Caspian Sea could drop by another 8 to 30 meters. The use or diversion of water for human activity is also an important driver of water loss in the Caspian. Accounting for this factor adds up to 7 meters of further loss, the scientists found, according to NASA.

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