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The warming waters of one of central Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, Switzerland’s Lake Zurich, have created an ideal environment for a population explosion of algae including Planktothrix rubescens, a toxic cyanobacterium. It has the potential to harm humans, animals and the tourism that pumps up the economies of lake districts.
According to research published in leading scientific journals, Lake Zurich is by no means alone. Cyanobacteria now threaten the ecological well-being of some of the world’s largest water bodies, including Lake Victoria in Africa, Lake Erie in the United States and Canada, Lake Taihu in China, the Baltic Sea in northern Europe, and the Caspian Sea in west Asia. They’ve also been found in Lake Kokotel in eastern Siberia, which is next to Lake Baikal, the world’s largest, deepest and most ancient freshwater lake. Baikal contains 20 percent of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve. Read more
Whatever the latest food trend—chia seeds, coconut flour, kale chips—you’re on it. But you might be skimping on the most basic thing you can do for your health: chugging enough water.
“I see this happening a lot with busy women,” noted Dr. Pamela Peeke, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and author of “Body for Life for Women.” “They become so absorbed with work, answering e-mails and texting that they neglect to grab a water bottle.” Soon they’re parched and draggy.
Other signs of mild dehydration: muscle cramps, dizziness and headaches. Women who are even slightly dehydrated may find it harder to concentrate than those who aren’t, according to a recent study in The Journal of Nutrition. And if your body is regularly running low on water, you’re more likely to be constipated, too. Read more
A fire at a water treatment plant in the Maldives has cut off drinking water to the capital of the Indian Ocean country.
About 100,000 residents in Male have lost access to drinkable tap water, the government says.
The authorities are providing bottled water free of charge. Scuffles were reported as residents fought to buy up water supplies in shops. Read more
When pondering the best way to study the impact of climate change, researcher Hans Joachim Schellnhuber liked to recall an old Hindu fable. Six men, all blind but thirsty for knowledge, examine an elephant. One fumbles the pachyderm’s sturdy side, while others grasp at its tusk, trunk, knee, ear or tail. In the end, all are completely misled as to the nature of the beast.
The analogy worked. Although many researchers had modelled various aspects of the global-warming elephant, there had been no comprehensive assessment of what warming will really mean for human societies and vital natural resources. But that changed last year when Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, and other leading climate-impact researchers launched the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project. Read more