Speaker: Dr. Charles R. Goldman
Distinguished Professor of Limnology (Emeritus)
The global decline of aquatic ecosystem integrity and water quality is by all accounts the most important environmental problem to be faced in the 21st century. Climate-based change is a major driver of these problems that are affecting aquatic systems across the globe. Like many of the world's inland freshwaters, Lake Tahoe continues to lose transparency as eutrophication causes increases of algal growth and fine particulates in the water column, and both exotic aquatic weed and fish introductions further threaten the lake's ecosystem functioning. The synthesis of long-term data collection, new research technologies, exploratory research, adaptive management, and community outreach have been important for better managing Tahoe’s air- and watersheds and should prove useful as a model for the management of other aquatic resources. Regulatory policy decisions worldwide are unfortunately often based on scanty or poorly interpreted data. Strong environmental science must be at the forefront in developing an improved environmental ethic for mitigation and improved adaptive management strategies for sustaining the quality of our limited freshwater resources. The global water crisis from climatic change and warming can no longer be denied, as it so recently has been, for political or industrial advantage. The World Water and Climate Foundation (WWCF) was established in 2012 from the former network which brought international limnology students to four world water conferences, where data was presented to assess the impact of climatic change and global warming on inland waters of the world. With lessons learned from Lakes Tahoe (CA-NV, USA), Castle (CA, USA) and Atitlán (Guatemala) and through enhanced international collaboration through the WWCF, we intend to improve strategies to meet the world’s water, energy and food crises that now threaten life on our increasingly damaged planet.
Originally published at biology.nd.edu.