Lake Baikal – A Live Map for Climate Change


The climate change signs have announced themselves all over the world and it seems that the places with the most accurate radar are those that have a history in being cradles of the natural ecosystem.

The media has shrugged before the unpleasant news that Lake Baikal and the complex ecosystem built around is showing impressive signs that announce climate change.

baikal lake

The oldest and deepest natural lake in the world, Lake Baikal is the place where over 2500 species of plant and animal life forms have developed separately from the rest of the Earth’s flora and fauna.

This was the main reason for which Lake Baikal was included in the UNESCO heritage. Lately, according to the research conducted by Mikhail Kozhov since the 40’s, the ancient lake sounds a serious alarm over its future. The unique life habitat built around it seems to be in the last faze of its evolution.

According to Stephanie Hampton, one of the authors of the study conducted on the ecosystem of the Lake Baikal, the climate change signs are visible on the powerful impact they have on the lake.

It was expected that because of the high water volume the lake holds, it would be a resilient citadel before the global warming. Unfortunately, the 25 million years old lake and the life around it have evolved quite differently from the pattern followed by the rest of the planet.

baikal seal

The evolution conducted over millenniums seems to degrade swiftly when facing a rapid global warming.

So far Siberia is the area with the fastest temperature rise on Earth as global warming rate is concerned. Lake Baikal seems to be part of this temperature increase phenomena that started in 1946 and that is evolving further with every year.

The ice is the key element in the evolution and survival of the animals and plants from Lake Baikal’s ecosystem. The recent studies indicate that the life cycle taking place under the ices for half of year is influenced by the thickness of the ice layer.

The way the ice layer thins with every cycle indicates that the ecosystem is getting closer and closer to a disaster that will change this part of the world completely.

The tragic future of this unique natural masterpiece will ultimately influence and damage the life of the human communities built around the lake.

According to the scientific communities, the life of the Baikal seals is comparable with the life of the rural communities around the lake.

The question is:  if humans survive the seals, would the survival be worth it?


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