Mercury Pollution In The Great Lakes Region -- Nearly Forgotten, But Not Gone
by Underwatertimes.com News Service - October 11, 2011 20:42 EST
DETROIT, Michigan -- The scope and intensity of mercury pollution in the Great Lakes region is much greater than previously reported, but additional mercury controls should bring needed improvement, according to a new summary of scientific research on the subject.Despite general declines in mercury levels in the Great Lakes region over the past four decades, mercury concentrations still exceed human and ecological risk thresholds, especially in inland lakes and rivers, according to the report Great Lakes Mercury Connections: The Extent and Effects of Mercury Pollution in the Great Lakes Region, which summarizes 35 new scientific papers. Also, new research indicates that for some species of fish and wildlife in particular areas, mercury concentrations may again be on the rise.New studies cited in the report suggest that adverse effects of mercury on the health of fish and wildlife occur at levels much lower than previously reported."The good news is that efforts to control mercury pollution have been very beneficial," says David C. Evers, Ph.D., executive director at Biodiversity Research Institute, and the principal investigator in the Great Lakes study. "However, as we broaden our investigations, we find that fish and wildlife are affected at lower mercury concentrations and across larger areas, and that impacts can be quite serious."
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What does this mean for lake cryptids? Are they surviving or have they become extinct? If they are relics of another era they well may not survive the pollution threat.
Antarctic lake mission targets life and climate signs
Richard Black By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News
A pioneering British expedition to sample a lake under the Antarctic ice hopes to find unknown forms of life and clues to future climate impacts.The mission will use hot water to melt its way through ice 3km (2 miles) thick to reach Lake Ellsworth, which has been isolated from the outside world for at least 125,000 years - maybe a million.The team hopes to be the first to sample a sub-glacial Antarctic lake.An engineering team leaves the UK later this week along with 70 tonnes of gear."Our project will look for life in Lake Ellsworth, and look for the climate record of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet," said the project's principal investigator Professor Martin Siegert from Edinburgh University."If we're successful, we'll make profound discoveries on both the limits to life on Earth and the history of West Antarctica," he told BBC News.Understanding the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is crucial to forecasting future climate change impacts, as it holds enough ice to raise sea levels globally by at least 3m (10ft) and perhaps 7m (23ft).Exploring sub-glacial lakes may also help scientists design missions to search for life on other worlds such as Jupiter's moon Europa, which is thought to feature a liquid ocean beneath a thick layer of ice.Read rest here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15245594
There could be discoveries here of unknown creatures, probably very small creatures but nonetheless exciting!