Lakes From Space
It's great to have a change in perspective from time to time. Here's Lake Atitlan in Guatemala from space.
It looks beautiful, but unfortunately what looks stunning is in fact killing the lake. The swirly green stuff is evidence that Lake Atitlan is choking with agricultural run-off, sewage and the by-products of deforestation, which have produced blooms of toxic blue-green algae or cyanobacteria.
Above is another aerial shot, this time a picture of the seasonal melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which produces surface lakes. Once again a reminder that beauty and destruction can co-exist.
It's hard to get your head round the shot above. But a little history might help. This is the Ounianga Basin in the Sahara Desert of northeastern Chad. Many thousands of years ago, this was one big freshwater lake. Then, as the desert became hotter, it dried out, and the lake was cut into slivers by migrating sand dunes. Creating this surreal landscape.
Talking of surreal, this is an image of the termini of glaciers in the Bhutan-Himalaya. As temperatures increase, they're melting, and forming glacial lakes. Once again, beautiful but destructive.
And what survey of lakes would be complete without the Great Lakes? In the Seventies Lake Erie was declared 'dead' by Time magazine, and was so polluted that it helped inspire the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the first ever Earth Day. Today, thanks to a reduction in pollution into the lake, water quality has vastly improved. Evidence that we can learn from our mistakes. RM