Drying Brandenburg lake is symbol of climate change, say scientists

By Tanja Wood SEDDINER SEE, Germany (Reuters) - After years of summer heatwaves and minimal rainfall, eastern Germany's lakelands are drying out, local scientists say, to the detriment of fish and plant life as well as fishermen. Seddiner lake, in the state of Brandenburg, south-west of Berlin, has sunk 60 cm annually on average over the past few years, with local geographer Knut Kaiser calling it the beginning of the end for the region's lakes. 'You could say that Seddiner is a symbol of a situation, or to put it more dramatically, it has become a portent for climate change here in Brandenburg,' Kaiser, from the German Research Centre for Geosciences, told Reuters TV.

Reuters August 15, 2020 00:11:01 IST
Drying Brandenburg lake is symbol of climate change, say scientists

Drying Brandenburg lake is symbol of climate change say scientists

By Tanja Wood

SEDDINER SEE, Germany (Reuters) - After years of summer heatwaves and minimal rainfall, eastern Germany's lakelands are drying out, local scientists say, to the detriment of fish and plant life as well as fishermen.

Seddiner lake, in the state of Brandenburg, south-west of Berlin, has sunk 60 cm annually on average over the past few years, with local geographer Knut Kaiser calling it the beginning of the end for the region's lakes.

"You could say that Seddiner is a symbol of a situation, or to put it more dramatically, it has become a portent for climate change here in Brandenburg," Kaiser, from the German Research Centre for Geosciences, told Reuters TV.

Spanning 218 hectares, it is fed from groundwater, leaving it at the mercy of rainfall and human water usage.

At a high point in 2013, the lake was full enough to flow naturally into a smaller neighbouring lake. In 2020, piers along the water's edge stand high and dry.

The state has the third most lakes in Germany relative to its size, but is the second most arid, according to the German Weather Agency.

After the drought years of 2018 and 2019, Kaiser said the lake will likely lose a massive amount of water in 2020 for the third year running.

"This is a bad sign! You could put it more starkly: It is a horror story for the region's water landscape," he said.

While scientists agree that the main problems facing Brandenburg's lakes are linked to climate change, human influence also plays a role.

Reeds, which clean the lake and act as a place for fish to spawn, have been exposed by low water and are often trampled by people heading to beaches, Kaiser said.

Falling water levels pose a problem for locals like Mannfred Mannheim. He used to catch enough fish for the family smokery business from the lake, but now has to source it elsewhere.

"For the last three years I have been waiting and things are just getting worse," Mannheim said. "One day this lake won't be here anymore."

(Reporting by Tanja Wood; Additional reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Giles Elgood)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.