Global Warming Transforming Lake Waters around the Planet
As the atmosphere warms, so are the world’s lakes.
That includes the five “Great Lakes” of North America. Milder winters mean less ice cover. Warmer summers mean greater evaporation. Put it all together and you begin to see important changes that not only affect aquatic life, but also have an economic impact on the people who depend on those lakes. For example:
- The Great Lakes hold 80% of North America’s fresh water and provide drinking water for 40 million North Americans.
- Many industries depend on the Great Lakes for the transportation of cargo. As water levels drop, navigation will become more difficult.
- Tourism and recreational activities will be negatively affected. Recreational fishing alone is 7 billion dollars a year industry.
- Investments will have to be made in order to adapt docks and dredge lake bottoms.
- Habitats of countless fish, birds and other mammals will be altered.
- The Great Lakes are warming faster than the world’s oceans. This will cause more algal blooms, leading to toxic cyanobacteria.
- Warming waters will also increase the impacts of harmful invasive species.
So, really, it’s not looking good for our Great Lakes… or those in other parts of the world. Take a look:
Just one more reason why climate change is a problem that needs to be tackled as aggressively as possible.