Why Caspi?

Scalability potential of CO2 removal

According to remote sensing and cadastral information, there is about 100 km2 or more of arid land on the eastern shore of the middle Caspian Sea suitable for CO2 removal facilities based on microalgae cultivation.

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Climate change

More than a century of burning fossil fuels as well as unequal and unsustainable energy and land use have led to global warming of 1.1°C above pre - industrial levels. This has resulted in more frequent and more intense extreme weather events that have caused increasingly dangerous impacts on nature and people in every region of the world. 

Taking effective and equitable climate action will not only reduce losses and damages for nature and people, it will also provide wider benefits, the report points out, underscoring the urgency of taking more ambitious action now to secure a livable sustainable future for all. 

Read more at The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023.

Largest lake in the world

“Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world by area with no regular connection to open seas except through the Volga–Don canal that connects this aquatic environment to the Sea of Azov and Black Sea. 

It has a rich biodiversity, provides about 90% of the world’s caviar supply, and forms resting regions for ten million migratory birds. 

Since the sea is landlocked, the pollutants discharged into the sea remain in place and accumulate. 

As a major oil production site, the Caspian Sea region has been exposed to large pollution loads originated from oil and gas industries . Annually, about one million tons of oil is leaking into the sea. 

In addition, the rapid urbanization, industrial and agricultural developments in the coastal areas, as well as political and economic competition in using the Caspian Sea resources have further exacerbated the environmental conditions in the sea.”

 Modabberi, Noori "Caspian Sea is eutrophying: the alarming message of satellite data"

Forecast of regression of the Caspian Sea

The Caspian catastrophe

“According to forecasts, the sea level in the Caspian Sea in scenarios with medium and high GHG emissions will decrease by 9-18 m by the end of this century, which is caused by global warming and a significant increase in lake evaporation, which is not balanced by an increase in river runoff or precipitation.

A decrease of 9-18 m will mean that the vast shelf of the northern Caspian, the Turkmen shelf in the southeast and all coastal areas in the middle and southern Caspian will rise above the sea surface. In addition, the Kara-Bogaz-Gol Bay on the eastern outskirts will be completely dehydrated.

In general, the surface area of the Caspian Sea will decrease by 23% with a drop in sea level by 9 m and by 34% with a drop by 18 m (see the picture below).”

Matthias Prange, Thomas Wilke, Frank P. Wesselingh “The other side of sea level change” read the full article at nature.com

Unique Pontocaspian biota

The Black Sea-Caspian Sea region hosts a unique aquatic biota. These Pontocaspian biota evolved in the region in the past millions of years to withstand the unusual salinity settings in lakes and seas. Sturgeons and Caspian seals are well known representatives, but Pontocaspian faunas contain hundreds of invertebrate species such as molluscs, crustaceans, worms and also fish that are unique to the region.

In the Black Sea Basin habitat degradation and nutrient pollution are major drivers, in the Caspian Sea it is a combination of invasive species, pollution and overfishing whereas the Aral Sea has simply vanished with its biota.

In general the awareness of Pontocaspian biota is low and needs improvement in order to foster effective conservation of these unique ecosystems and biota.

Research by the project “PRIDE: Pontocaspian rise and demise Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Netherlands): Frank Wesselingh, Koos Biesmeijer, Aleksandre Gogaladze, Sabrina van de Velde.

Pusa caspica

The Caspian seal is one of the endangered endemic Caspian species that will be seriously affected by the exposure of the northern Caspian shelf and the reduction of winter sea ice cover due to rising temperatures. Today, at least 99% of the puppy breeding sites are located there (photo provided by Susan Wilson).

Matthias Prange, Thomas Wilke, Frank P. Wesselingh “The other side of sea level change” read the full article at nature.com

PusaCaspica by Susan Wilson