Warnings – Lake Baikal Could Dry Out Like the Aral Sea

By Doug Williams
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Warnings – Lake Baikal Could Dry Out Like the Aral Sea

Doug Williams
 
 
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It seems as though every time the news is on these days there are more and more reports of the environment is being completely ravaged by climate change.

It is sad to see our natural wonders, that have been around since the dawn of time, in danger of being damaged and some have already been completely destroyed by global warming.

One of the most recent natural wonders to fall victim to environmental degradation is Lake Baikal. The lake’s level is unfortunately falling and the hydroelectric plans that the Mongolians have in place would disrupt things even further.

 

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Lake Baikal is important for many reasons, the most important being that it is a natural reservoir that contains somewhere around twenty percent of the world’s unfrozen freshwater.

This is a staggeringly large number, and when the assessment of the environmental damage that has occurred to the lake was released, it left a pretty grim picture.

There are three hydroelectric power stations that are set for construction that could cause the kind of rare dry-out that happened to the Aral Sea.

Baikal Lake is twenty-five million years old and is labeled as a UNESCO world heritage site. The harrowing news that the lake is on the verge of demise is very disconcerting, as officials said that the lake was on the edge of an ‘environmental catastrophe.’

If people do not take this seriously and do nothing to stop it, then it could suffer the same fate as the Aral Sea.

 

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A comparison of the Aral Sea in 1989 (left) and 2014 (right).

These hydroelectric stations have officials and experts warning that a huge catastrophe will occur, causing irreparable environmental damage and will eventually dry out the lake.

It is something that the government needs to take into consideration before continuing the construction.

Not only is the lake in danger but the placement of the power station also creates a very dangerous situation, as any sort of seismic activity can cause all of the stored water to wash away part of Mongolia in as little as half of a day. The water would be going at a speed comparable to a tsunami, which is a very worrying as the first city that it would hit has a population of about four hundred and fifteen thousand people.

The warnings were released in an attempt to get Russia to persuade Mongolia not to continue construction or even start construction of these hydroelectric stations. They believe they have the potential to cause so much damage, not only to the environment but also to the people in the area.

There have been various meetings to present the catastrophic results that could occur as a result of the construction of these hydroelectric plants, but unfortunately, the dire warnings do not seem to be getting through.

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Experts are getting concerned about the environmental and ecological implications of the continued construction and what it could mean for the nearly twenty-five million-year-old lake which is already suffering from environmental and direct impact.

Another big problem that can occur is that the natural conditions in the area will completely change, there will be additional greenhouse gas emissions which can cause even more flooding in some of the areas.

This would have an affect on the wildlife, such as fish, or even the migration of animals. The wildlife and the water supply can be affected a lot by the construction and officials are worried that people are not heeding the necessary warnings or thinking of the implications of this construction.

On the one hand, it may seem like a good idea to build hydroelectric stations as it would help Mongolia have more use of green energy.

It is unreasonable to think that the construction of these few stations could serve as the main power source for Mongolia.

So many people are wondering if the risk is worth the reward; the truth is, there is a lot of risks and minimal reward for the population, the wildlife, and the environment that will be affected by the construction.

 
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