A collaborative study among Canadian, American and European scientists has found that climate change appears to be causing increased growth of a certain bacteria in high altitude Arctic lakes. This is because the now-melting water bodies have become home to growing populations of algae, which decompose and cause certain bacteria to multiply.
Increased bacterial populations have been observed to reduce the water’s sulfate levels but unfortunately at the same time cause the release of toxic methylmercury. In this study, the scientists measured sulfate levels in sediment collected from nine Arctic lakes throughout Canada and Norway. They first of all noted that the bacteria indeed affected the waters’ sulfur levels.
Lead author Dr. Paul Drevnick of the University of Quebec in Canada went on to express concern that as the sulfur levels go down with higher temperatures, the methylmercury generated is not only causing further disruption to the biochemistry of the lakes, it is also reaching toxic levels in animals such as seals and beluga whales, with resulting damage to their reproduction, development and behavior.
The scientists are now planning further studies to verify these effects. Thank you Dr. Drevnick, and all researchers involved in sharing this information on how climate change and human activities are adversely impacting Arctic ecosystems.
We pray for quick actions to restore the balance of the region and the globe. Supreme Master Ching Hai has often discussed how even large scale disruptions resulting from global warming can be quickly reversed by changing one main human activity, as during a September 2009 videoconference in South Korea.