Canadians are incredibly lucky to have so much access to nature, and this includes our many freshwater lakes. Some of these lakes are in fact so-called Great Lakes, which behave more like inland oceans than the lakes that often come to mind.
Regardless of this seeming bounty however, it appears that Canadian lakes are in hot water, according to a new metastudy out of York University. The survey, which analyzed some 143 different studies, found that lakes across this land are getting warmer, shallower and more susceptible to toxic algae blooms. These blooms, which are sometimes called blue-green algae, they produce toxins that can be dangerous to humans and animals.
The paper, published in the journal Bioscience, notes that — while this trend is happening in other countries, too — lakes in northern latitudes like Canada’s are experiencing the most rapid changes; our lakes are warming at a rate twice as fast as those found elsewhere in the world.
As for what’s causing these changes? An increase in ice-free days and greater evaporation.
This is yet one more way climate change is wreaking havoc on our environment, but the concern also extends to our access to clean drinking water, which already impacts Indigenous and marginalized communities to a much greater extent.