Ecological problems of Baikal and ways to solve them | ecology of lake baikal

What problems does Lake Baikal face?

The results of human activity very often negatively affect the natural resources of our planet. The issue of unique natural objects is especially acute. Several main and additional sources of pollution negatively affect the Baikal ecology. All these factors cause great harm to the ecosystem of the wonderful reservoir.

Where is Baikal

The ancient and unique Lake Baikal is located in a glacial rift depression on the territory of Russia in the south of Eastern Siberia. According to scientists, it appeared about 25 million years ago.

A huge reservoir of natural fresh water stretches from southwest to northeast for 636 km. Its shape resembles a giant crescent. The width of the lake ranges from 24 to 79 km.

It has the deepest bottom in the world with a maximum elevation of 1187 meters, which is below sea level. The area of ​​the entire water surface is 31,722 km2, which is approximately equal to the area of ​​some European countries, for example, the Netherlands or Belgium. This is the seventh figure globally. The coastline of the freshwater lake stretches for 2000 km.


Geographically, the reservoir is located in the center of Asia, on the border of the Republic of Buryatia and the Irkutsk region. Baikal is located in a kind of natural hollow, surrounded on all sides by hills overgrown with dense vegetation and high mountains.

The water area of ​​the unique reservoir has more than 20 islands, bays with shallow sores and 6 bays. 300 rivulets and rivers flow into it, and the main runoff is the Angara, and from there water flows into the Yenisei.


A natural wonder - Lake Baikal - is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. To this day, scientists argue about his age, origin. He is the oldest on our planet. If we compare it with similar reservoirs of natural origin, then they live no more than 10-15 thousand years.

On earth's land, this is the deepest basin. According to most scientists, it goes to the upper layers of the earth's mantle through its crust. According to one version, it was formed due to tectonic phenomena. The transformation processes are still going on, since earthquakes are recorded annually.

Mother Nature has created a unique climate around this reservoir. In this area, like the sea, there is a large number of sunny days a year. Since water accumulates heat in the summer, it gives off with the onset of cold weather. This property makes the local winter milder. Summers are cool, although in recent years the air temperature in the summer has been steadily increasing.

Another remarkable feature of Lake Baikal is the winds. They blow almost always, and their maximum speed reaches 40 km/h. There are more than 30 names of winds in this area and are almost always directed along the coast, making it difficult to find a place to hide from strong and piercing gusts.

Residents of Buryatia and the Irkutsk region traditionally celebrate the Day of Baikal on the second Sunday of September - a memorable date designed to draw attention to the importance of preserving the unique lake. Natalya Tumureeva, an ecologist, director of the public organization "Buryat Regional Branch for Baikal", told TASS about what is happening with Baikal today, what problems are paramount for the lake, and why it is too early to talk about improving the ecosystem.

Low water of Baikal

The most notable events associated with Lake Baikal over the past few years have been related to the water level in the lake, the ecologist notes. He was sinking rapidly. 2014 was an alarming year, visible changes in the low-water period on Lake Baikal were also observed in the winter of 2015: peat bogs began to burn on the eastern Buryat coast, water disappeared in the wells on the coast, on the western shore of the lake there was a threat to the water supply of the city of Angarsk with a population of 230 thousand people.

The water level in Lake Baikal has been decreasing until recently. This week, the Irkutsk Department of Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring published information that in 2018 the hydrometeorological situation has changed, and due to the snowy winter, as well as summer rains on Lake Baikal, "an increase in water inflow to values ​​close to long-term average" occurred.

"As of August 31, the average level of Lake Baikal is 456.67 meters, the filling was 96 cm at a rate of 90, last year the filling was only 37 cm. That is, a turning point has come, the hydrological and water situation on Lake Baikal has improved. 2018 is classified as an average year in terms of water content, "the message says.

It also mentions data on the cyclical nature of natural phenomena on Lake Baikal and dismisses versions about the possible "shallowing and even drying up of Lake Baikal" in the near future. “All this, no doubt, contradicts reality,” Irkutsk hydrometeorologists reassure the public.

Tumureeva considers such conclusions to be hasty. “Yes, there were precipitations, and everything is cyclical in nature - we agree with this, but it must be borne in mind that now people make their own amendments to the cyclical processes,” the agency's interlocutor emphasized. “I would be afraid to make any positive predictions about the state of the lake. Baikal". In those distant years when there was a dry period on Lake Baikal (from 1899 to 1905, from 1920 to 1929, from 1976 to 1982), there was no such anthropogenic load as it is now, she recalled.

Lack of scientific monitoring

It interferes with making accurate forecasts about what will happen to Lake Baikal, including the lack of constant scientific monitoring, the expert explained.

"There is no high-quality and systemic monitoring of shallow water. Various institutes, of course, carry out their own research, but they are pinpoint. And, besides, there is no connection between the institutes," Tumureeva noted.

As an example, she cited the situation with the algae Spirogyra, the spread of which, according to some scientists, is detrimental to the Baikal ecosystem. There is a statement of the fact that this algae is present in Lake Baikal, but no one can say when it appeared in the lake, whether it really has grown today in comparison with previous years, whether it really poses a threat.

Environmental problems of Lake Baikal and ways to solve them | Ecology of Lake Baikal

Baikal is located in the Eastern part of Siberia, it is an ancient lake, which is about 25 million years old. Since the reservoir is very deep, it is a great source of fresh water.

Baikal provides 20% of all fresh water resources on the planet. The lake fills 336 rivers, and the water in it is clean and transparent. Scientists speculate that this lake is a nascent ocean. It is inhabited by more than 2.5 thousand

species of flora and fauna, of which 2/3 are not found anywhere else.

Water pollution of Lake Baikal

The largest tributary of the lake is the Selenga River. However, its waters not only fill Baikal, but also pollute it. Metallurgical enterprises regularly dump waste and industrial water into the river, which in turn pollutes the lake. The greatest harm to Selenga is caused by enterprises located on the territory of Buryatia, as well as domestic waste water.

Not far from Lake Baikal, there is a pulp and cardboard mill, which has caused the greatest damage to the ecosystem of the lake. The managers of this enterprise said that they had stopped polluting local water bodies, but emissions into the atmosphere did not stop, which later goes to Selenga and Baikal.

As for agriculture, the agrochemicals used to fertilize the soils of the fields located nearby are washed into the river. Animal and crop waste is also regularly dumped into the Selenga. This leads to the death of river animals and pollution of the lake waters.

Impact of the Irkutsk HPP

In 1950, a hydroelectric power station was founded in Irkutsk, as a result of which the waters of Lake Baikal rose by about a meter. These changes had a negative impact on the livelihoods of the inhabitants of the lake. Changes in water negatively affected fish spawning grounds, some species crowd out others. Changes in the level of water masses contribute to the destruction of the lake shores.

As for the nearby settlements, their residents produce a huge amount of garbage every day, which harms the environment as a whole. Domestic waste water pollutes the river system and Lake Baikal. Quite often, wastewater treatment filters are not used. The same applies to the discharge of industrial water.

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