BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A study reveals the shocking conclusion that lakes are the most affected by global warming.
The study looked at the way 235 lakes around the world evolved over a period of 25 years. It is the first piece of research to combine satellite temperature information with ground measurements. The frightening result was that the temperature of lakes increases every year by 0.34 degrees Celsius on average.
The findings are surprising because it seems that our lakes are taking the brunt of global warming. They are warming much faster than the oceans and the atmosphere and this could seriously disturb the ecosystem.
People use water not only for drinking, but for manufacturing, for cultivating vegetables, for the production of energy. And all of these uses could be negatively impacted the lowering supplies of fresh water.
The warming of the lake water points to two definite outcomes: the multiplication of algal blooms and the increase of methane emissions. More algal blooms will consume more oxygen and water and can even be toxic to some wildlife. They are foreseen to increase by 20% during the next century. Methane, which is 25 times more toxic than carbon dioxide, will most likely sustain an increase of 4%.
There are, however, more damaging effects that the warming of lakes can lead to. The most serious of them is that it could affect the survival possibilities of some species, which could lead to their sudden extinction.
This will in turn affect the ecosystem, which will impact human life on Earth.
The lakes that presented the highest warming rates are Lake Tahoe, Ontario, the Dead Sea, the Great Lakes Huron, Ontario and Superior Lake Washington and Michigan.
These results were obtained by combining satellite and ground measurements, which reveal the way the Earth’s temperatures change over time. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and by NASA. Its purpose was to find out how rapidly temperatures are changing over the decades and to estimate the consequences that they could have.
The results suggest that vulnerability assessments should be carried out on lakes and measures to redress the situation, taken immediately.
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