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Perubahan Iklim Ancam Margasatwa Danau Tertua

Kehidupan di Danau Baikal—satu danau tertua di dunia--di Siberia, kini semakin terancam oleh perubahan iklim.  Danau Baikal termasuk World Heritage 1996 dan memiliki 1/5 dari air segar tidak beku di dunia. Begitu hasil riset Dr Sarah Roberts (University of Nottingham), Dr George Swann (School of Geography, University of Nottingham), Professor Anson Mackay (Department of Geography, University College London), ahli dari Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, dan Dr Elena Vologina (Institute of Earth's Crust, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk),  yang dirilis oleh jurnal ilmiah PLOS ONE edisi Desember 2018 (University of Nottingham, 19/12/2018).

“The results from this study reveal how Lake Baikal has responded to human pressures in the 20th and 21st Century. By analysing the diatoms, we have been able to reconstruct how they have changed over the last 40 years. This information can then be used to assess the impact of global climate change and local catchment disturbance on the lake during the 20th and 21st Century,” ungkap Dr Sarah Roberts (University of Nottingham, 19/12/2018).

Kehidupan dan jumlah ganggang mikroskopis algae (diatom) yang sangat langka dan unik di danau ini, merosot tajam ketika air danau semakin panas. Algae merupakan dasar mata-rantai pangan dan nutrien pokok organisme lain seperti plankton, ikan, dan satu-satunya penjamin air-segar di dunia. Spesies ini kini diganti oleh diatom lain yang hidup di zona lain dunia. Akibatnya, terjadi perubahan pola makan, siklus energi alam danau, nutrien dan kimia yang mengancam keragaman-hayati (Phy.Org, 20/12/2018).

Riset ini didanai oleh Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). “Diatoms are exceptional indicators of changing environmental conditions. The conclusions of our paper, obtained from the analyses of sediment archives, are confirmed by sediment trap experiments which reveal that increased water temperatures over the last two decades have caused alterations in the amount and composition of diatoms in Lake Baikal,” ujar Dr Elena Vologina dari Institute of Earth's Crust, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk (University of Nottingham, 19/12/2018). 

Oleh: Servas Pandur