Unfortunately, America’s dead sea is drying up and is the source of the tremendous amount of arsenic in the air.
A megadrought is affecting western US states; megadrought has likewise determined water levels in Utah’s Great Salt Lake to a close to a 58-year low, showed Utah geological survey. The current lake level is almost nine feet below the long-term average of the lake.
Water levels in America’s Dead Sea are at their lowest, and scientists warn of severe knock-on effects on numerous species along with threats to human health.
Salt Lake City is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. And Salt lake city is also the seat of Salt Lake County, the most populous county in Utah.
The Salt Sea in the Colorado Desert of Southern California is a former tourist destination that has turned into an environmental disaster. Born by accident 100 years ago, when the Colorado River breached an irrigation canal, the lake soon became a popular resort.
The Dead Sea is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere. And Dead sea is even more significant than its counterpart in the Jordan Rift Valley in the eastern hemisphere.
Environment officials are warning of severe knock-on effects for wildlife, and according to them, these severe effects can last for years to come.
Utah’s Department of Natural Resources reported this week that microbialites, “living rocks” on the salt lake bottom, would dry up within weeks. And this can put the whole ecosystem at risk as living rocks are food for brine flies and shrimp.
Kevin Perry explained that most birds breed at the Great Lake’s saltwater than anywhere else in the United States. Kevin Perry is a chairman of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Utah.
At the lake, more than three hundred birds species can be seen.
Perry cautions of what occurred at California’s Owens Lake, which was siphoned dry to take care of thirsty Los Angeles. And California’s Owens Lake made a residue bowl that cost millions of dollars to tamp down. The Great Salt Lake is a lot bigger and more like a populated region, Perry said.
But fortunately, most of the body of water has a crust that makes it more challenging for the wind to blow dust.
Perry is evaluating how long the protective crust will last and for how many years the lake’s crust will prevent dust from blowing. And she is also studying that how dangerous the soil’s arsenic might be to people.
Arsenic Cause of Toxic Air in Utah:
“Our studies show the whole lake system, including the ten million migrating birds, depend on microbialites,” said Dr. Bonnie Baxter. He is the director of the Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College. “Without these critical structures, impacts will be amplified up the food chain,” he added.
Mr. Perry reported to CNN that drought is drying out Utah’s soil, and the wind could pick up arsenic from the ground. In addition, arsenic can cause various health illnesses, most commonly respiratory problems. Arsenic is a toxic chemical element that often washes lands in the lake, and wild winds can pick up dust from there.
“One of the concerns we have is the particles that are coming off the lake getting into people’s lungs,” he said.
“Fifteen to 20 years ago, when the lake was higher, most of these dust spots were covered up, and if you cover them up with water, they don’t produce dust. And so, as the lake has receded, it’s exposed more and more of that lake bed. So as we get the larger area, we have more frequent dust storms,” reported Mr.Perry.
Notwithstanding the environmental warnings, water will remain redirected from the Great Salt Lake to ranches, farms, and urban communities. And some of which partake in the least expensive water anywhere in the US.
“Keeping water in the Great Salt Lake is the biggest thing that keeps me up at night. We’re on the doorstep of a catastrophe,” she told CNN. ”
According to research by McKenzie Skiles, a snow hydrologist at the University of Utah, the swirling dust could also speed the melting of Utah’s snow. Her investigation showed that residue from one storm made the snow such a ton hazier that it melted sooner than anticipated.
While quite a bit of that residue came from different sources, dry lakebeds’ development raises worries about changes to the state’s billion-dollar ski industry. “No one wants to ski dirty snow,” she said, referring to the dirty and speedy melting Utah’s snow.