As climate change continues to warp temperatures and ecosystems across the planet, Lake Erie is not spared in any capacity. Ohio State University student’s went to work in the lake learning about what climate change and pollution specifically were doing to the populations.
Stu Ludsin, researcher, professor and director of Ohio State University’s Aquatic Ecology Laboratory said that the cause of the change comes from humans, through the work we do next to the water source and what we bring in.
“It’s been changing a lot at the expense of humans,” he said “We hear a lot about nutrient pollution. It’s causing harmful algal blooms. It’s causing hypoxia, which is modifying habitat across the lake.”
The issue is that Lake Erie climate issues go beyond the lake’s edges into the surrounding rivers and streams. agriculture has a severe impact on the environment depending on which chemicals are released and toxins exposed. The phosphorous levels especially have impacted the western-basin of Lake Erie.
Lupsid said that nutrient pollution, climate change and invasive species each affect the lake in different ways. The research showed that in some cases the section of the lake determined whether it was more or less affected.
The Cuyahoga River empties into Lake Erie by Cleveland where it faced the worst of its pollution and where the river burned 50 years ago. As climate change is finally recognized as the crisis it is there is a need to look back into the past and see how it got to this point.
There are many factors that play into how climate change affects a given area and a large contributor to this is humanity. As the community celebrates 50 years since the river burned there are still threats to the environment that come from co-existing alongside it.
To read more about Lupsid’s research about Lake Erie and the pollutants affecting its ecosystems and species go to https://www.portclintonnewsherald.com/story/news/2019/09/27/researchers-measure-impact-climate-change-lake-erie-fishery/2309448001/