Influxes of Mercury in Wisconsin Lakes


The destruction and warming of this beautiful planet can be attributed to humans. The melting of ice caps and the elevation of storms is all largely due to our greed and selfishness. Businesses and politicians value money over taking action towards the progressive slaughter of the Earth. The changes caused by pollution are continuing to gradually impact our everyday activities. So is the profit gained from the coal, oil, and beef industry worth the future of humanity?

Climate change has become one of the most concerning issues of our developing society. Human pollution from factories, coal mining, and other sources create greenhouse gases. Generally, greenhouse gases in moderation are good since they heat the Earth. But as more greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, the Earth overheats. The fluctuations of the Earth’s temperatures are often due to varying amounts of pollutants emitted from factories, which are then released into the atmosphere. A NASA study has concluded that “97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists” have come to the consensus that climate change is a result of human activity. Yet, this issue is still deemed as a controversial topic. The future of the upcoming generations are placed in the hands of the current. So we must act soon, because we’re beginning to feel the effect locally.

Climate change is a global and local concern. Wisconsin lakes are experiencing influxes in mercury levels because of climate change. The emissions in the atmosphere are contaminating the rain which later finds its way into the trees. Furthermore through the process of climate change lakes are both shrinking and expanding. Where trees once stood on dry land, their roots are now submerged in water. The mercury that was in the trees from previous rainfall is then combined with the components in the lake water, which create a toxin lethal to humans, methylmercury.

These influxes of mercury levels are concerning to scientists from a safety prospective. They believe that Wisconsin fish aren’t safe to consume. The methylmercury from trees and water get into the fish, making them dangerous to eat. A scientist created a study to determine if the levels of mercury in the fish. He did this to determine if the levels were safe in the water according to the DNR’s regulations. He concluded that the mercury levels were sometimes in a safe range, while other times they were dangerous.

This is only the beginning of the potential damage climate change can cause. The current state of Wisconsin lakes allows us a peek into our nearing reality. Our attempts to reverse the damage will soon be overdue and ineffective. We can all act to limit climate change, starting with our neighborhood lanes. Combatting climate change in Wisconsin can help us to secure a future for the Earth.

[Source: Science of Wisconsin Environment and NASA]

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