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Tag: lakes

High water wreaks havoc on Great Lakes, swamping communities

Technology
MANISTEE, Mich. -- Rita Alton has an unusual morning routine these days: Wake up. Get dressed. Go outside to see if her house is closer to tumbling down an 80-foot (24.4-meter) cliff into Lake Michigan. When her father built the 1,000-square-foot (93-square-meter), brick bungalow in the early 1950s near Manistee, Michigan, more than acre of land lay between it and the drop-off overlooking the giant freshwater sea. But erosion has accelerated dramatically as the lake approaches its highest levels in recorded history, hurling powerful waves into the mostly clay bluff. Now, the jagged clifftop is about eight feet from Alton’s back deck. “It’s never been like this, never,” she said on a recent morning, peering down the snow-dusted hillside as bitter gusts churned surf along the shoreline belo
Life may have first emerged in phosphorous-rich lakes

Life may have first emerged in phosphorous-rich lakes

Science
Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Phosphorous is one of the six main chemical ingredients necessary for life. Phosphorous atoms form DNA and RNA molecules, the building blocks of life's genetic code, but until now, scientists assumed the element was in short supply on primordial Earth. In a new study, published Monday in the journal PNAS, scientists provide evidence that ancient soda lakes could have provided sufficient levels of phosphorous to spawn life. Soda lakes, sometimes called alkaline lakes, are lakes featuring high rates of evaporation. The water left behind is salty and features a high pH, or low acidity. Samples collected from soda lakes across the world showed the carbonate-rich water can boast up to 50,000 times the levels of phosphorous found in the ocean. "In most lakes, phosphate is limi...
Lakes are experiencing worse algal blooms, global survey shows

Lakes are experiencing worse algal blooms, global survey shows

Science
Oct. 14 (UPI) -- In lakes all over the world, algal blooms are getting more severe. In a new global survey of large, freshwater lakes -- the first of its kind -- scientists found algal blooms have become more frequent and intense over the last 30 years. Algal blooms can negatively affect humans and ecosystems by robbing freshwater of sufficient oxygen supplies and producing dangerous toxins. "Toxic algal blooms affect drinking water supplies, agriculture, fishing, recreation, and tourism," Jeff Ho, researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science, said in a news release. "Studies indicate that just in the United States, freshwater blooms result in the loss of $ 4 billion each year." Most studies of algal growth have focused on specific bodies or water or regions, like the Great Lakes. ...
The methane-filled lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan are explosion craters, model predicts

The methane-filled lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan are explosion craters, model predicts

Science
Sept. 9 (UPI) -- According to a new model developed by planetary scientists in Italy and the United States, many of the methane-filled lakes on Titan were likely formed after explosions of warming nitrogen left dozens of empty craters dotting the surface of Saturn's largest moon. Outside of Earth, Titan is the only planetary body in the solar system known to host stable liquid on its surface. While Earth hosts bodies of water, Titan's lakes are filled with liquid methane and ethane. On Earth, methane and ethane typically exist in gas form, but subzero temperatures on Titan allow the hydrocarbons to exist in liquid form. Previous models suggested Titan's lakes were formed over thousands of years as the liquid methane and ethane precipitated by Titan's clouds dissolving the moon's bedrock ...
As planet warms, Arctic lakes, rivers will lose their biodiversity

As planet warms, Arctic lakes, rivers will lose their biodiversity

Science
May 22 (UPI) -- As Earth's temperatures continue to rise, freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic are becoming unusually warm -- too warm for many native species. According to a report, the trend could cause regional extinctions, resulting in a tremendous loss of biodiversity in Arctic lakes and rivers. The recently published Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity Report, a product of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, CBMP, suggests Arctic species are running out of Arctic habitat. "The findings of the report are alarming. Global warming is reducing the area of the region that can be considered as Arctic," Danny Chun Pong Lau, an ecologist at Umeå University in Sweden, said in a news release. "The consequence is that southern species move northwards and cold tolerant species face poss