Advertisement

Canadian subarctic lakes drying up at accelerated rate

These lakes, dependent on snowmelt for water, have been drying up largely due to drier summers and less snowy winters.

By Ananth Baliga
Canadian subarctic lakes drying up at accelerated rate
Dried lakes in Wapusk National Park near Churchill, Canada, which have seen lower-than-average snowmelt runoff, are at their lowest level in 200 years. (Credit:Hilary White)

Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Decreased snowfall in Canada's subarctic region has led to the drying up of lakes, according to researchers from a group of five universities.

The researchers studied 70 lakes near the Old Crow, Yukon, and Churchill, Manitoba regions. According to the study more than half of the dry lakes were located on relatively flat terrain and surrounded by scrubby vegetation.

Advertisement

Researchers say the reason behind this is the low meltwater, which averaged 76mm from 2010 to 2012 in Churchill, Canada, lower than previous years.

This drying process became visible to the naked eye sometime in 2010, and was even more pronounced in 2013. Analyzing the remains of phytoplankton in these dried-up lakes, showed that the lakes had maintained their eater balance for 200 years, making this the lowest the lakes have been in the period.

And with drier summers and less snowy winters, the forecast is that many of the shallow lakes will dry out completely.

"It's difficult to predict all the repercussions of this habitat loss," said Frederic Bouchard, a postdoctoral fellow at Université Laval. "But it's certain that the ecological consequences will be significant."

[Université Laval]

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement