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Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘Lake Superior’

Massive ecosystem collapses occurring in Great Lakes

Posted by feww on October 5, 2011

‘Feast and Famine in the Great Lakes’

Lake Erie experiencing the worst toxic algal bloom in recorded history


Algae in Maumee Bay (Photo: S. Bihn, Lake Erie Waterkeeper)

“Nutrient-rich runoff from farms is growing a huge crop of algae along the lakes’ coasts, but those nutrients aren’t making it out to the water in the middle of the lakes. Quagga mussels are consuming almost all of it, leaving nothing left in the water for fish to eat.” NWF

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Disaster Calendar 2011 – October 5

[October 5, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,624 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • North America. The Great Lakes comprise of 5 freshwater lakes located on the United States border with Canada.  Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario form the largest collection of freshwater lakes on Earth by surface area, and the second by volume. The lakes hold more than a fifth of the world’s surface fresh water [~22,600 km3.]
    • Tens of millions of people in the region including all of Chicago’s three million residents, and many others in the neighboring towns and suburbs, rely on Great Lakes water for life.
    • Great Lakes coasts are being clogged by massive carpets of algal blooms, some as large as 1 meter thick and 20 km wide, fed by rich nutrients from farm run-off, while invasive mussels are consuming the food chain inside the lake, starving the fish.
    • “Too much food is causing massive algal blooms in Lake Erie and other coastal systems, while too little food is making fish starve in Lake Huron’s offshore waters,” according to a report by the National Wildlife Federation.
    • “Nutrient-rich runoff from farms is growing a huge crop of algae along the lakes’ coasts, but those nutrients aren’t making it out to the water in the middle of the lakes. Quagga mussels are consuming almost all of it, leaving nothing left in the water for fish to eat.”
    • The feast-and-famine crises are plaguing the Lakes,  the report said, causing collapse of the food chain, declines in fish populations including lake whitefish and salmon, “and resurgence of toxic algae blooms and the Lake Erie ‘Dead Zone.’”
    • Feast and Famine in the Great Lakes: How Nutrients and Invasive Species Interact to Overwhelm the Coasts and Starve Offshore Waters (pdf), details the links between massive algal blooms in Lake Erie which poses  serious  health threat to people and wildlife and a 95 percent decline in fish biomass in Lake Huron. Some of the report findings on how excessive nutrients are overwhelming coastal areas are listed below:
      • This summer Lake Erie experienced the worst toxic algal bloom in recorded history
      • The bloom, involving the toxic alga Microcystis, at one point extended across almost the entire western basin and into the central basin, and in some places was up to 2 feet thick.
      • The toxic algae can sicken or even kill people. A toxin from the algae was measured in this summer’s bloom at 1,000 times the World Health Organization guidelines for drinking water.
      • Algal blooms are significant, although so far less severe, in Saginaw Bay (Michigan), Green Bay (Wisconsin), and along the Lake Michigan coastline, among other areas, and federal agencies rate nearshore areas in all lakes but Lake Superior as “poor” for nutrient phosphorus concentrations.
      • The report also documents how invasive zebra and quagga mussels have consumed much of the food in the offshore waters of the lakes, causing fish to starve:
      • The biomass of prey fish (which are fed upon by predators such as salmon) in the open waters of Lake Huron has declined by 95 percent in just 15 years.
      • The populations of the tiny freshwater shrimp at the base of the Great Lakes food web, Diporeia, have declined in Lake Michigan by 94 percent in 10 years.

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