STATES CHRONICLE – A recent study shows that lakes may become overrun with algal blooms.
Lake waters are warming at an unprecedented rate and this is causing the number of algal blooms to rise to dangerous levels. As has been shown previously in the news, the lake waters experience a rise of 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit every year and this is causing more algal blooms to appear. But the algal blooms have a very negative effect on the wildlife, as some of the fish can withstand only up to a certain temperature before they are in danger.
Four of the five great lakes: Superior, Ontario, Michigan and Huron showed a significant increase in temperature, because this problem affects bodies of water that reach great depths. Lake Erie, which is shallower did not show the same increase, but on the other hand, this one might already have reached temperatures that are too high for fish.
Although it might seem like an undetectable change, the rise is quite significant and may have severe consequences. For instance, the algal blooms that will increase their numbers will take up more of the oxygen that is so essential to the fish’s surviving and will create hypoxic areas – without oxygen – which will put the fish in danger.
The results of the study also suggest that not only are these effects unavoidable, but that they are probably happening right now.
Beside the warming air temperatures, there are other factors that have contributed to the warming of the lakes. These are the fact that lakes up north have started losing their ice cover earlier and the cloud coverage has decreased, leaving waters exposed to more sunlight which encourages algae growth.
If the fish are affected as a result of this, this will constitute a major blow to Earth’s population, as fish is a very important source of protein.
Such drastic changes in water temperature might also decrease the quality of the water people use for drinking and other purposes.
The study has also predicted that the number of algal blooms will rise by 20% in the next century and the number of toxic algal blooms, by 5%.
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