A team of scientists led by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA) recorded a decrease in oxygen levels in freshwater lakes due to the accelerated rate of global warming. The research is published in the journal Nature.
Experts have assessed the condition of 393 lakes, most of which are located in temperate latitudes. The work took into account data from 1941 to 2017.
As it turned out, lakes lose oxygen 2.75-9.3 times faster than the World Ocean, which negatively affects the state of their ecosystems. So, since 1980, the oxygen content in the investigated reservoirs has decreased by 5.5% at the surface and by 18.6% at the bottom.
The reason for the changes was an increase in fresh water temperature by 0.38 ° C over ten years, experts say. Such consequences of global warming contribute to the reproduction of blue-green algae, whose toxins are dangerous to other living organisms living in fresh water.
A decrease in oxygen levels creates the conditions necessary for the multiplication of anaerobic bacteria. The methane they emit increases greenhouse gas emissions, which only accelerates the pace of climate change. Thus, warming can lead to depletion of drinking water supplies and imbalance in freshwater ecosystems.