The Great Lakes and Lake Baikal

Baikal lake in Russia is similar to Great Lakes in USA in that they each represent 1/5 of the worlds fresh water. They are also similar since we exploit and pollute them for their resources. Earth and Sky excerpt reads:

If you exclude polar ice caps and glaciers, Lake Baikal holds over one-fifth of all surface fresh water on Earth. Unlike other deep lakes, it contains dissolved oxygen right down to the lake floor. That means creatures thrive at all depths in the lake.

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Photo credit: Kyle Taylor

Most of Lake Baikal’s 2,000-plus species of plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world. Scientists believe up to 40 per cent of the lake’s species haven’t been described yet. Species endemic to Lake Baikal have evolved over tens of thousands, perhaps millions, of years. They occupy ecological niches that were undisturbed – until the last few decades.

Now, industrial development, paper mills, mining, agriculture, and general population growth on the lake’s shores are putting toxic compounds, fertilizers and other pollutants into Lake Baikal.

Find out more about Lake Baikal and how scientists are studying how the lake is changing: How is pollution changing Lake Baikal? Read on at:

http://earthsky.org/earth/how-is-pollution-changing-lake-baikal#.UXQboPu3OSw

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