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Death by Milfoil: A Tragic Result of Global Warming?

August 15, 2010

I have been reading more and more about algae blooms becoming a nuisance in lakes, rivers and oceans and they are being blamed for “fish kills” all over the world. It’s an increasing problem.

I’m not sure if there is any debate about what is causing the algae blooms. I believe that increased water temperatures is a big factor and I also know that fertilizers that make their way into our waterways help to feed nutrients to the algae. It can choke out aquatic life and some wildlife get caught in the algae and die.

A tragic event took place locally to a young women who was swimming in Horseshoe Lake, here in Northeast Washington State. She and some friends were swimming to some waterfalls when she became tired and sank down into murky water that was thick with milfoil. She apparently got tangled up and drowned before her friends could find her to pull her free.

Is the record-breaking heat causing an increase of algae blooms across the globe? Are fish, wildlife, and even people dying because of the heat? It’s seems that scientists think so. Global warming is in full gear this summer and naysayers can poo-poo it and dismiss human’s impact on this growing problem. But there is no denying that the heat is causing havoc across the globe. And people are dying.

The photo is of the milfoil in the Upper Columbia River, taken a few years ago on a canoe trip.

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