Thinking Citizen Blog — The Caspian Sea — Geology (the Three Seas), Biology (Beluga Sturgeon), History (Baku)
Thinking Citizen Blog — Wednesday is Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability Day
Today’s Topic: The Caspian Sea — Geology (the Three Seas), Biology (Beluga Sturgeon), History (Baku)
The Caspian, the world’s largest inland body of water, is “a remnant of the ancient Paratethys Sea.” It stretches 750 miles from north to south, and has an average width of 200 miles. Its area is roughly that of Germany or Japan. Five countries border it — Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Russia. The Volga, in the north represents 80% of the inflow. There is no outlet. The salinity is about a third of average sea water on average but varies hugely from north to south (from 1 part per thousand to 13 ppt). Today, a few more notes. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
THE THREE SEAS — NORTH (shallow), MIDDLE (deeper) , SOUTH (deepest)
1.) The northern third of the world’s largest inland body of water is shallow (16–20 feet), accounts for less than 1% of the total volume of the sea, and is fed by Europe’s longest river, the Volga.
2.) The central third is somewhat deeper (620 feet) and accounts for 33% of the total volume.
3.,) The Southern Caspian has oceanic depths of 3300 feet and accounts for 66% of the volume.
BELUGA (sturgeon) — “third most massive species of bony fish” — the “largest freshwater fish in the world”
1. Largest female recorded: 23 feet, 7 inches, 3463 lbs. Females tend to be 20% larger than males. Average size today: 5 to 10 feet long, 50 to 600 lbs.
2. Anadromous: “migrating upstream in rivers to spawn on clean, hard substrate, which offers both support and cover to their sticky and adhesive eggs.”
3. Critically endangered because of poaching and overfishing for the roe (eggs) — beluga caviar, the world’s most expensive with prices as high as $4500 per lb.
NB: “As with most caviars, beluga is usually handled with a caviar spoon made of mother of pearl, bone, or other nonmetallic material, as metal utensils are said to impart an unwelcome metallic taste to the delicate roe. Beluga caviar is usually served by itself on toast, unlike other less expensive caviars that can be served in a variety of ways, including hollowed and cooked new potatoes, on a blini, or garnished with sour cream, creme fraiche, chopped onions, or minced hard boiled egg whites. These items can, however, be served with beluga as palate cleansers.”
BAKU, CAPITAL OF AZERBAIJIAN. LARGEST CITY ON CASPIAN, LOWEST LYING MAJOR CITY IN THE WORLD
1. “Between 1898 and 1901, Baku produced more oil than the US. By 1901, half of the world’s oil was produced from 1900 wells, located within 6 square miles.”
2. The oil barons of Baku included the Rothschilds and the Nobels as well as locals such as Musa Naghiyev, Shamsi Asadullayev and Zeynalabdin Taghiyev.
3. Today, the Baku metropolitan area has a population of 5 million, roughly half the population of the country.
NB: Baku is known as the “City of Winds.” The cold wind from the North is called the Khazri. The warm wind from the South is the Gilavar. The latter is associated with Good. The former with Evil. The winds dissipate the substantial air pollution.
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to climate change or the environment. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to climate change that the rest of us may have missed. Your favorite chart or table perhaps…
This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.