Climate Change Could Make ‘Dead Zones’ More Common In Lakes, Killing Fish And Poisoning Drinking Water

Source: Phys.org/University of Reading

Photo: Gláuber Sampaio/Unsplash

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‘Dead zones’ could become increasingly common in lakes in future due to climate change, reducing fish numbers and releasing toxic substances into drinking water.

Scientists at the University of Reading have warned that warming of the climate in the years to come will inhibit movement of  within some lakes, due to surface temperature increases and reduction in winter ice cover. This would leave deeper areas of those lakes devoid of oxygen that is essential for supporting ecosystems.

The study looked at water mixing patterns in 635 large lakes around the world and found climate change would disrupt mixing in around 100 of them by the end of the century. Many lakes would mix less frequently, with some experiencing no mixing at all throughout the year.

Dr Iestyn Woolway, lead author of the study in the University of Reading’s Department of Meteorology, said: “A lack of oxygen in deep waters can have a detrimental effect on fish habitats and even lead to dead zones that cannot support life. Added to this is the potential for poisonous substances to be released into water we drink by algae that flourish at the surface in the warmer conditions.

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Photo: Gláuber Sampaio/Unsplash

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