Lakes Are Losing Oxygen—and Their Inhabitants Are in Danger

Hundreds of temperate lakes around the world are showing trends toward anoxia, becoming warmer, murkier, and less hospitable to cold-water species.


KEVIN ROSE AND his team loaded their sensors into a boat and began rowing. It was late summer at Lake Giles, a small glacial lake in northeast Pennsylvania, and they were there to study the effects of acid rain. But in the process, they discovered something else. Though the lake seemed full of life, the water had been changing. It was taking on a brownish hue, and its surface was warming. Most of all, the lake was running low on dissolved oxygen, a key indicator of its health. As they lowered a sensor into the water, the reading presented another abysmal zero.

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