Tuesday, 21 June 2016 00:00
By Alexander L. Forrest, The Conversation | News Analysis
In an age of rapid global population growth, demand for safe, clean water is constantly increasing. In 2010 the United States alone used 355 billion gallons of water per day. Most of the available fresh water on Earth’s surface is found in lakes, streams and reservoirs, so these water bodies are critical resources.
As a limnologist, I study lakes and other inland waters. This work is challenging and interesting because every lake is an ecosystem that is biologically, chemically and physically unique. They also are extremely sensitive to changes in regional and global weather and long-term climate patterns.
For these reasons, lakes are often called “sentinels of change.” Like the figurative canary in the coal mine, lakes may experience change to their ecosystem dynamics before we start to see shifts in the greater watersheds around them.
In a study I recently co-authored with Goloka Behari Sahoo, S. Geoffrey Schladow, John Reuter, Robert Coats and Michael Dettinger, we projected that future climate change scenarios will significantly alter natural mixing processes in Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada range that are critical to the health of the lake’s ecosystem. This could potentially create a condition that we termed “climatic eutrophication.”
Please click on: Eutrophication