In the 1950's, the Soviets decide to turn the vast desert steppes of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan into fields of cotton and wheat. They diverted some of the rivers that feed the lake to irrigate the new crops. This depleted the Aral Sea, and in 1987, the level of the water falls so low that the sea splits into two bodies of water. It splits again in 2002. In 2014, the eastern part of the Aral Sea disappears forever, which causes an ecological disaster. Part of the "Butterfly Effect" series.