Discovery] When we talk about global warming, the number that everyone usually focuses on is that of the atmosphere, though the world’s oceans also are absorbing heat as well. Now, it turns out, lakes may be faring even worse.
According to a new study, climate
change is warming lakes even faster than the atmosphere or oceans, and
it could pose a significant future threat to the habitats for fish and
other aquatic animals, as well as drinking water for millions of people.
The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, shows that
lakes are warming at an average of 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit each decade.
Over the next century, it could be enough to increase algal
blooms by 20 percent, including a 5 percent boost in toxic blooms. That
may not seem like a lot, but it’s enough to present a hazard to both
aquatic life and to the cleanliness of water supplies.
“We found that ice–covered lakes, including Canadian lakes, are
warming twice as fast as air temperatures and the North American Great
Lakes are among the fastest warming lakes in the world,” biologist
Sapna Sharma, a biologist at Canada’s York University, said in a press release.
The study focused upon 236 lakes, which contain more than half
of the world’s freshwater supply. They were monitored over a 25-year
period. Read More