Our stressed-out lakes

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The other day, I stumbled across an article on ThinkProgress that gives a snapshot of how climate change is affecting the Great Lakes. And it talks about some of the potential future effects on the region.

But what caught my attention is a map embedded in the post. The image, developed by the Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping Project, shows the cumulative environmental stress on each lake. And Lake Ontario is not looking good: it's all orange and red, the color codes indicating the most stress.

The GLEAM website maps shows the extent of certain environmental problems in the lakes. In Lake Ontario, these stressors include nitrogen and phosphorous pollution, mercury and PCB's in sediment, warming waters, and invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels.

Ultimately, the map is a good reminder that no environmental problem in Lake Ontario occurs in isolation.

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