Global warming shrinks Siberian lakes

The Hindu , Sunday, June 12, 2005
Correspondent : Staff Reporter
MOSCOW: Lakes in two large swaths of Siberia are shrinking in size and 125 of them have disappeared, a U.S. study revealed recently. Scientists have examined satellite photographs of 305,000 sqkm of Siberia, two areas stretching south between the Ural mountains and the Arctic mining town of Norilsk. They claim the disappearance of the lakes is a consequence of global warming. The warning comes as British Prime Minister Tony Blair flies to Moscow this Sunday to secure the support of Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, for G-8 action on climate change. While there were 10,882 lakes larger than 40 hectares in 1971, there were only 9,712, in 1997 a decline of 11 per cent. Published in the journal Science, the study concluded: ``The ultimate effect of continued climate warming on high-latitude, permafrost-controlled lakes and wetlands may well be their widespread disappearance.'' It said: ``Our study reveals a widespread decline in lake abundance and area, despite slight precipitation [rain and snowfall] increases.'' The study also said the total surface areas of lakes in the region had dropped by 6 per cent, while 125 lakes of this size had disappeared completely.
 
SOURCE : The Hindu, Sunday, June 12, 2005
 


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