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117 Million Lakes Found in Latest World Count

Using satellite photos and computerized mapping technologies, an international research team counted all of the lakes on Earth. They found about 117 million lakes, covering almost four percent of the world’s land surface, not counting the glaciers on Greenland and Antarctica, according to a new study. It is the first time the world’s lakes have been…

Ice Cover Affects Lake Levels in Surprising Ways

The announcement last week that $300 million was included in the 2014 federal spending bill for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was followed this week with more good news about water levels. The recent Arctic blast that gripped much of the nation will likely contribute to a healthy rise in Great Lakes water levels in 2014,…

PROJECT: ICE Documentary Portrays Changing Climate on the Great Lakes

As the polar vortex descended on Washington, D.C. on Monday night, my husband and I joined Water Currents editor Brian Clark Howard for a private screening of PROJECT: ICE, a fascinating new documentary about the Great Lakes. What was conceived as a documentary about ferries and shipping on the Great Lakes became something else. During filming,…

Lake Science Goes High-Tech to Understand Impacts of Extreme Weather Events in Argentina

As I walked along the shore of the serene Laguna La Salada at the northern fringe of the Patagonia region of Argentina, I struggled to imagine the severity of the storm that wrecked havoc on this small lake and the rest of Buenos Aires province just six months before. The Southern Hemisphere spring was in…

New Titan Photos Showcase Lakes and Salt-Flats

Weather on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, cleared this past summer, allowing NASA’s Cassini spacecraft to beam back revealing views of the giant lakes and Earth-like salt-flats that adorn the frozen mini-world. Northern spring is kicking into high gear on the ringed giant’s largest moon, bringing with it clear breaks from the cloudy winter weather. That is finally…

Alpine Lakes in Austria Reflect Climate Change

It’s no longer just a question of whether the planet’s precious lakes are being affected by climate change. The evidence from observations is clear: changes in climate, especially in recent decades, have impacted lakes worldwide. With warming trends expected to continue, researchers are now turning their attention to predicting how this will affect lakes in…

Rebirth of Lake Sturgeon: Freshwater Species of the Week

At a fish-rearing facility near Michigan‘s Kalamazoo River, I’m peering inside a big, water-filled tub at lake sturgeon eggs no bigger than BB pellets. Someday these will grow into the biggest fish in North America, but for now, they’re the precious cargo of a state program to bring these freshwater giants back to their native…

Warming Lakes: Climate Change Threatens the Ecological Stability of Lake Tanganyika

Tropical lakes in East Africa don’t grab headlines the way polar bears do, but climate change is having an effect on them, too. Although the changes are not as visible as melting polar ice caps, they are no less real. As in many lakes around the world, water temperature is on the rise in Lake…

World’s Largest Lake Cleanup Dive Raises Awareness…About Ocean

On Saturday, Paul Rose put on a dry diving suit and walked to the end of a pier on scenic Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England. He plunged into the cold water. “I had been underwater for 30 seconds when I bumped straight into a complete toilet,” Rose told Water Currents. Rose, a…

The Treasures of Tursujuq: one of North America’s largest national parks

With little fanfare, the Inuit people of Nunavik in northern Quebec, the Grand Council of the Cree, and the Government of Quebec announced the creation of Tursujuq National Park—a 6.5 million acre protected area along the eastern shore of Hudson Bay. Not only is this remarkable for its size—it’s the largest protected area in eastern North America and one of the top 10 largest parks on the continent—but perhaps even more incredible is that the park is several million acres larger than it had been expected to be a few years ago.

“Monster” Goldfish Multiplying in Lake Tahoe: Freshwater Species of the Week

I’m posting Freshwater Species of the Week a day early because I just caught wind that biologists have discovered “monster” goldfish breeding in Lake Tahoe. I visited Lake Tahoe a few winters ago, and can say with experience that it’s a stunning natural gem. Snow-capped peaks ring the crystal-clear blue water, which supports a diverse…

Lakes Michigan and Huron Fall to Record Lows

It looks like low water levels on the Great Lakes will be added to the record-breaking climate-related events of 2012. The water level on Lakes Michigan and Huron dropped another 2.5 inches (6 cm) in December, unofficially breaking a nearly 50-year-old record for the month. Last month’s average for both lakes – considered one lake…

Irene and Sandy Show the Effects of Extreme Weather on Lakes

A named tropical storm had dramatic effects on a group of aquatic ecosystems last year, but the affected waters were not what you might expect. They were freshwater lakes and reservoirs spread across the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada, some located far inland from the coast. A new study sheds light on the consequences of…

Warming Lakes: Climate Change and Variability Drive Low Water Levels on the Great Lakes

  For people living around the Great Lakes, water levels this past month have appeared much lower than many will remember. The upper Great Lakes reached near-record low water levels in October. This was most evident on Lakes Michigan and Huron, where lake levels dropped to less than two inches (4 cm) above record lows…

Warming Lakes: Effects of Climate Change Seen on Lake Tahoe

  Lake Tahoe is one of hundreds of lakes around the world in the midst of a warming trend. The effects of climate change are starting to complicate efforts to maintain the lake’s relatively pristine state, putting Tahoe’s sapphire blue water and its overall ecological health at risk. Surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains and…