Hundreds of Lakes Worldwide Losing Their Oxygen Due to Climate Change

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

In college we did a study on a lake and found the bottom half of the lake was super salty from road salt. What happened is the salt water would settle at the bottom because its dense. Seasonally when temps shift lakes are supposed to “turn over” and the surface water gets cold and sinks, thus providing oxygen to the bottom. But the dense salt water makes it so the lake never turns and loses oxygen. I have to imagine this plays a role as well. Edit: I’m a little rusty on the particulars from this it was 10 years ago in school. It was the capstone class for my environmental science minor. I believe this phenomenon is called the Chemocline. If we are all super interested in this phenomenon I’m friends with my college buddy on Instagram who did a thesis on this.


I hope they’d control for the changes that occurred to the environment around theses lakes in the past 80 years. There is a lot that might have changed. Industrial development, altered inflows and outflows, pollution, pesticides, runoff, invasive species. Sounds like you’d need to do a full geographic and historical analysis of each lake to be able to assign a singular cause for decreasing oxygen levels. I don’t have access to the full thing, but the abstract and references didn’t list much along those lines.


In Germany it’s pretty common to have these buyos in seas that create fountains to oxygenate the water.


I am a little bit skeptical about putting the blame here on global warming. I would like to read more than the abstract, but do not have an account to the journal. The abstract also mentioned the clarity of the water as a factor. What we call turbidity in water quality tests. We have known about both turbidity and increased nutrients in water causing eutrophication. The decomposition of algae that bloomed from extra nutrients, which feeds oxygen using microorganisms and lowers the D.O. lots of lakes have been heading from oligotrophic to eutrophic for decades as we use more fertilizers, and generate more sewage that gets into waterways untreated because of food production and livestock management. Building, development, deforestation, and tilling farms all increase runoff into streams rivers and lakes that also increase nutrient supplies and disrupt the ecology through eutrophication and increased turbidity. I would like to see the nutrient and biological oxygen demand data in the tested lakes over a prolonged time period where humans weren’t impacting the D.O. before attributing it to global warming. From a simple logical perspective, warmer temperatures do increase the metabolic activities of most aquatic organisms, so they could easily contribute to exacerbating the process of eutrophication. So my point is. That the dissolved oxygen levels might be worsened by global warming, but the root cause is probably other human activities. Global warming is just the icing on the cake. We need to keep addressing the cake so there is less to put the icing on.


I heard about sultan lake doing the same in California. Haven’t read the article yet so idk if it was specifically mentioned.