EGU General Assembly 2007
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  Information - HS25 Lakes and inland seas under anthropogenic impact and climate change (co-listed in CL & ERE)

Event Information
Many lakes and inland seas all over the World experience anthropogenic impacts of varying extent and nature, and are affected by climate change. The major forms of human pressure on inland water bodies are (i) pollution and (ii) unsustainable diversions of water from tributary rivers for irrigation and/or industrial uses. Consequently, physical and chemical regimes of the water bodies are often strongly affected, which is manifested through desiccation, salinization, eutrophication, oxygen depletion, sulfide contamination, etc. This often results in severe losses of biological diversity and triggers a spectrum of economical and social consequences. Perhaps, the most well known examples are the Aral Sea and the Dead Sea, but many large and small lakes in the global perspective are also facing anthropogenic challenges. This also refers to enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, such as the Caspian, Baltic, Black, Azov, and other Seas, and even some areas of the oceanic shelves, especially those adjacent to river estuaries.
In addition, natural climate trends and human-induced climate change may add severe stress to lake systems, like in the case of Lake Chad or Lake Issyk-Kul, for example. Some stress factors are, among others, decrease as well as increase in precipitation and faster melting of glaciers in the watershed that alter water level and structure of lakes. Along with increasing freshwater input increased runoff of dissolved substances into lakes and inland seas change the physicochemical structure of the water body. Changes in sea surface temperature, wind patterns and ice coverage of the lakes itself affect stratification. The physicochemical changes as a whole affect the structure and functioning of the ecosystem. It is, therefore, an important albeit difficult task to correctly distinguish the human impact from the natural variability, to estimate the resistance of the systems towards the impacts, ways of adaptation, and what the thresholds for decline or recovery of a system would be.
Better understanding of the related physical and chemical mechanisms can only be achieved through correct coupling between the lacustrine (oceanographic) dynamical phenomena occurring in the bulk of the water bodies on the one hand, and estuarine and groundwater hydrology processes and environmental flow conditions in the catchment basins on the other. This session is intended for observational, remote sensing, and modeling studies quantifying different aspects of this coupling, modeling the effects of physicochemical changes on the ecosystem, as well as various manifestations of relevant anthropogenic and climate impacts. Reports of field measurements interpreted in the ecosystemís context in the regions of special interest are particularly welcome.

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