Climate Change

Climate Change is another component to the increase in Harmful Algal Blooms in recent years.

Warmer temperatures directly warm the lake, making it an even better habitat for cyanobacteria.

Increases in temperature also decrease the amount of ice cover during winter months, which allows for more water to evaporate, which lowers water levels. In Lake Erie, this not only contributes further to ideal conditions for cyanobacteria, but can make human activities involving the lake more difficult as well.

And lets not forget that zebra mussels also love warm water, and more of them would further worsen the eutrophication problem and increase favorable conditions for HABs.

Changes in temperature can also affect the weather, and this is especially true in the Great Lakes area.  More heavy rains can lead to more nutrient pollution, and like we saw in 2014, it can also cause rains to wash pollutants into the lake at unexpected times, causing more problems.

So, everything we do to reduce our impact on the environment can also help reduce Lake Erie’s problem with toxic cyanobacteria.  We may not have as much control over the climate of our planet than we do over the pollutants we dump into one freshwater system, but the important thing to remember is that every little thing we do builds up to make a difference.