Climate warming affects entire lakes

Oct 18, 2005

Canadian scientists in a University of Alberta study indicate global warming is producing major ecological changes in remote arctic lakes at an alarming rate.

The research is said to be the first to demonstrate a whole lake biological response to warming in the arctic.

Neal Michelutti, a post-doctoral science fellow, said even in the most remote, pristine parts of the Earth -- far from the direct influence of human activities -- changes are occurring in entire ecosystems.

He and his research team used a technique called reflectance spectroscopy to allow them to "see" in wavelengths that the human eye cannot -- the chemical composition of the sediment in six lakes on Baffin Island.

They found major increases in chlorophyll-a concentrations, a good indicator of overall ecosystem production.

What alarms the researchers is the magnitude and timing of the changes. "For the last several thousand years, chlorophyll-a concentrations in our study lakes were very low and showed little variability, until approximately 150 years ago when chlorophyll-a increased rapidly and reached unprecedented levels. The timing of these changes corresponds to the start of the Industrial Revolution," said Michelutti.

The research appears in the current issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Scientists 'map' water vapor in Martian atmosphere

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists 'map' water vapor in Martian atmosphere

30 minutes ago

Russian scientists from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), together with their French and American colleagues, have ...

Decision cascades in social networks

39 minutes ago

How do people in a social network behave? How are opinions, decisions and behaviors of individuals influenced by their online networks? Can the application of math help answer these questions?

Recommended for you

Water fleas prepared for trip to space

5 hours ago

Local 'Daphnia' waterfleas are currently being prepared by scientists at the University of Birmingham for their trip to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will be observed by astronauts.

The worst trip around the world

5 hours ago

As you celebrate the end of the year in the warmth of your home, spare a thought for the organisms riding with a third-class ticket on the International Space Station – bolted to the outside with no protection ...

Image: Multicoloured view of supernova remnant

5 hours ago

Most celestial events unfold over thousands of years or more, making it impossible to follow their evolution on human timescales. Supernovas are notable exceptions, the powerful stellar explosions that make ...

Ultra-luminous X-ray sources in starburst galaxies

5 hours ago

Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are point sources in the sky that are so bright in X-rays that each emits more radiation than a million suns emit at all wavelengths. ULXs are rare. Most galaxies (including ...

When a bright light fades

5 hours ago

Astronomer Charles Telesco is primarily interested in the creation of planets and stars. So, when the University of Florida's giant telescope was pointed at a star undergoing a magnificent and explosive death, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.