Baikal environmental disaster causes and consequences

About 25 million years ago, a crack opened on the Eurasian continent, and Lake Baikal was born, now the deepest and oldest in the world. The lake is located near the Russian city of Irkutsk, one of the largest cities in Siberia, where about half a million people live.
Currently, Lake Baikal is a natural reservoir and the UNESCO World Heritage Object. It contains about 20% of the nonfrozen freshwater water in the world.
Lake biocenosis is unique. Most representatives you will not meet anywhere else.

And there were notes in the media that a catastrophe hung over the lake, in the form of dangerous algae of spirogira, which occupied more than half of the area. The numbers are simply frightening! But is it? We decided to conduct a little research.

Facts and conclusions are described below

  1. Since 2007, scientists began to conduct research regarding the spread of spirogyra in Lake Baikal.
  2. The news that Baikal is facing an ecological disaster, appear with a frequency of 1-2 times a year, starting from 2008.
  3. In 2010, ecologists scored into bells, warning the public that the resumption of the work of the cellulose plant off the coast of the lake will inevitably lead to catastrophic consequences due to emissions of phosphates and nitrogen.
  4. Since 2012, studies have appeared on changes in some areas of the bottom of the lake of species of algae tags. Again, the percentage shifted towards the spirogyra.
  5. In 2013, due to unprofitability, the cellulose plant was closed, but this did not solve the problems of the ecology of the lake.
  6. In 2016, scientists discovered 516 species of spirogyra on Lake Baikal.
  7. In the same year, notes appeared in the media about the pollution of the lake with sewage and an increase in the number of toxic algae.
  8. In 2017 and 2018, the news of the catastrophic propagation of spirogira continues.

Now everything is in order. The cellulose plant, which, according to the public, made the largest contribution to the pollution of Baikal, has successfully worked since the mid-1960s. The amount of waste that he managed to throw during this time in the waters of the lake is difficult to count and does not need. In a word there is a lot. The problem of wastewater, about which the headlines of newspapers are full, also existed for more than a year, but such a situation did not arise. Another point on which the media sin is the waste thrown out by the courts. And again the question and before they buried them in the ground? Also no. Therefore, the question is not this, but in the concentration of poisons or other factors?

Having found spirogir in the cold depths of the lake, environmentalists excluded warming as an abnormal growth factor of this type.

Scientists of the Limnological Institute prove that the massive distribution of algae is found only in places of strong anthropogenic pollution, while in pure waters it is practically not observed.

Baikal environmental disaster causes and consequences

Let’s look at another factor a decrease in water level

According to studies of the 19th century, about 330 large rivers and small rivers flowed into Baikal in Baikal. The largest tributary is the Selenga River. Its main outflow is the hangar. To date, the number of watercourses, according to preliminary data, has decreased by almost 50%. If you add here a factor of natural evaporation of water under the influence of high temperatures, you will get an annual decrease in water level in the lake.

As a result, a very simple formula draws, indicating that an increase in the inflow of sewage and a decrease in the amount of clean waters leads to a massive infection of Baikal with a spirogyra, which in small doses is the norm, and in a dominant position leads to changes in lake biocenosis.

It should also be noted that the threaded algae themselves do not pose a special threat to the environment. Catastrophic are the scales of the decomposition of clusters thrown ashore, which are distributed by poisons that cause environmental collapses.

Based on the results of our study, we come to the conclusion that the problem of Spirigora for Lake Baikal is not a new, but rather running. Today, the world community focuses on preserving the unique lake, preventing the construction of the next hydroelectric power station, and insists on the construction of water cleaning structures. Unfortunately, most projects remain printouts lying in safe, and not specific actions. I hope that our article will at least somehow affect the current situation and help activists with acts to resist the inactivity of indifferent officials.

Baikal environmental disaster causes and consequences
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