Monday :: May 5, 2008

Global Warming Heating Up The World's Largest Lake

by Turkana

Wellesley College Office of Public Affairs:

Russian and American scientists have demonstrated for the first time that the world’s largest lake, located in frigid Siberia, has warmed rapidly over the past half century, at a rate almost three times that of the average global air temperature. The findings are consistent with additional signs that this remote region is responding strongly to global warming.

Through long-term studies of Russia’s Lake Baikal, Stephanie Hampton, deputy director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and Marianne Moore, associate professor of biological sciences at Wellesley College, and four other scientists have written a research paper, “Sixty Years of Environmental Change in the World’s Largest Freshwater Lake,” which will appear in the scientific journal Global Change Biology.

Using cutting-edge statistical analysis, the authors detail the effects of climate change in the world's largest lake – from warming of its vast waters to reorganization of its microscopic food web. “Warming of this isolated but enormous lake is a clear signal that climate change has affected even the most remote corners of our planet,” Hampton said.

An abstract of the study can be found here.

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