Algal blooms start earlier in China's major freshwater lake: study

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-18 19:46:12|Editor: zh
Video PlayerClose

NANJING, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Algal blooms have come earlier by nearly a month amid global warming in a major freshwater lake in China, according to a new study that built links between algal outbreak and climate change.

The bloom's start dates have advanced by 29.9 days from 2003 to 2017 in Taihu Lake in east China's Jiangsu Province, according to research by the Taihu Laboratory for Lake Ecosystem Research of Nanjing Institute of Geography & Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The study, which based its finding on satellite data of the lake over the past 15 years, suggests air temperature, wind speed and total nitrogen/total phosphorus ratio all work to influence the bloom start time.

"An early outbreak of algal blooms is a common phenomenon under conditions of a rising temperature, reduced wind speed and a high concentration of nutrients," said Shi Kun, a researcher with the institute who participated in the study.

Shi said the research can also be applied to other lakes plagued with algal blooms, providing guidance in their water environment management.

An algal bloom is a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae that can decimate fish and pollute water. It is the result of the eutrophication, which arises from overly enriched minerals and nutrients.

The research was published in the global scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology.