People spoiled a third of the Earth’s lakes

As of 2009, about one-third of lakes in the world have undergone strong negative anthropogenic influence. According to the study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, from 1993 to 2009, human impact has also affected the 610 from 710 lakes located in key areas of biodiversity. To reduce the load on freshwater ecosystems author has proposed to increase the number of lakes belonging to the protected areas.

Scientists estimate that 75 percent of the surface area of the Earth has traced the anthropogenic influence on natural landscapes. Some of the most vulnerable to such effects are freshwater ecosystems, including lakes. To protect the lake are extremely important because they provide a number of irreplaceable ecosystem services: for example, only the 14 largest lakes in the world provide biodiversity 15 percent fish and at least three percent of insects, mollusks, and crustaceans. Despite the fact that the main anthropogenic threats to lakes (agriculture, rainfall acidification, over-fishing of biological resources) it is clear that currently no global assessment of the sustainability of these ecosystems in the industrial era.

Mummies Christos (Christos Mammides) from Guangxi University conducted an environmental assessment of the changing state of the Earth’s lakes from 1993 to 2009. For this, he used the database Hydrosheds and the calculated indices anthropological footprint (takes values from 0 to 50) and anthropogenic modifications (takes values from 0 to 1) by deleting from the analysis of lake area less than five square kilometers. In the end, the study included 34469 lakes, covering an area of almost 2.3 million square kilometers.

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