Friday, May 2, 2008

Big lakes also affected with global warming

Almost all world's big lakes like Superior, Tanganyika and Tahoe are showing signs of warming trends due to the global warming and climate change. But many scientists thought until recently that this is not the case with Russia's Lake Baikal, the world's largest freshwater lake that was expected to be among those most resistant to climate change, due to its tremendous volume and unique water circulation. But unfortunately so, the latest scientific study showed that climate change also affects this enormous lake, meaning the climate change is really everywhere.

The conclusion that resulted from careful and repeated sampling over the last sixty years showed that there is a "significant warming of surface waters and long-term changes in the food web of the world's largest, and most ancient lake." Lake Baikal is extremely important from many different aspects, especially ecological since this lake is World Heritage site and real heaven for biological diversity, with more than 2500 plant and animal species, with most, including the freshwater seal, found nowhere in the world. This lake is not only rich with different lives but also with fresh water and it contains 20 percent of the world's freshwater, and it is large enough to hold all the water in the United States' Great Lakes, and is also world's oldest and deepest lake.

As this study showed there is "1.21°C increase in water temperature since 1946, chlorophyll a (300 percent since 1979), and an influential group of zooplankton grazers (335 percent since 1946) have important implications for nutrient cycling and food web dynamics, and these "temperature changes in Lake Baikal are particularly significant as a signal of long-term regional warming." This lake is located in frigid Siberia, where winter temperatures drop even to -50 degrees F, and these results show that even this area is strongly affected with the current global warming trend, and that global warming is really a "global" problem that includes all corners of the Earth, no matter what some people think and say.

These results were revealed by the team of scientists that included Stephanie Hampton, an ecologist and deputy director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) in Santa Barbara, California, and Marianne Moore, a biologist at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass., together with four other scientists, and were issued in the journal Global Change Biology.

Lake Baikal- also responding to climate change

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