Saturday, December 24, 2011

Remote Pollution

from Lund University
There is new evidence of nitrogen pollution that began with the industrial revolution, and it is found in remote lakes.  Studies reported from Lund University in Sweden have found increased nitrogen levels occurring since the late 19th century in lakes thousands of miles from cities.

Studies in the USA, Canada, Greenland and Svalbard, Norway show the nitrogen pollution levels started in 1895 and have accelerated in the last sixty years.  This correlates with the rise in combustible fuels and increasing artificial fertilizer use across the developed world.
 “I have studied lakes on Svalbard, where the effects of the increased nitrogen deposition are clearly visible in the algal flora”, says Sofia Holmgren.  She explains that both the species composition and production of diatoms – microscopic siliceous algae – have changed dramatically in the lakes on Svalbard since the start of the 20th century, with the most significant changes over the past decades.
Like acid rain in the past, these remote changes demonstrate the continued planet-wide impact of humans.  We act at the local level by educating our neighbors about preserving our clean water supplies.  One way is to start with our 5th graders at the Watershed Festivals held by JRBP.

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