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The Central Asian Dust Bowl

Desertification has increased markedly in the past two decades in Central Asia, causing agricultural yields to plummet. Some estimates suggest that 70 percent of Turkmenistan has become desert, but nearby Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have also suffered precipitously. (7 PHOTOS)

The same village and its surroundings in Karakum Desert, which occupies roughly two-thirds of Turkmenistan's territory.
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The same village and its surroundings in Karakum Desert, which occupies roughly two-thirds of Turkmenistan's territory.

A Kazakh villager carries a bucket of water from a well in a desert that once formed the bed of the Aral Sea.
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A Kazakh villager carries a bucket of water from a well in a desert that once formed the bed of the Aral Sea.

Children run past rusting ships abandoned in sand that once formed the bed of the Aral Sea near the village of Zhalanash, in Kazakhstan.
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Children run past rusting ships abandoned in sand that once formed the bed of the Aral Sea near the village of Zhalanash, in Kazakhstan.

A man checks his mobile telephone as he walks through a remote Yerbent village in Turkmenistan's Karakum Desert.
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A man checks his mobile telephone as he walks through a remote Yerbent village in Turkmenistan's Karakum Desert.

A sign advertises shashlik and beer in a remote region of Turkmenistan.
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A sign advertises shashlik and beer in a remote region of Turkmenistan.

A yurt and other disused structures in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan.
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A yurt and other disused structures in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan.

Turkmen villagers emerge from a shop.
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Turkmen villagers emerge from a shop.

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