• Mission Tomorrow

Great Salt Lake Drying Up

Over the past few years, the Great Salt Lake in Utah has already shrunk by two-thirds its original size. As it continues to dry up, the surrounding air of Salt Lake City will become more toxic. The bed of the lake contains high levels of arsenic. As more of the water dries up, more of the lake bed is exposed. Therefore, more arsenic can easily flow into the lungs of residents in Salt Lake City by wind storms.

In addition to human threats that this phenomenon presents, birds face major disruptions in their migratory patterns. As the Great Salt Lake loses its water, more of the lake's shrimp and flies, which these birds typically feed off of, would die. Therefore, more that 10 million migratory birds that regularly feed off of these organisms could be impacted.

Currently, climate change is only getting worse as record-breaking droughts keep occurring. As a result, it is very difficult to solve this problem. One of the most feasible solutions is to let more snow melt from the mountains, allowing more water to flow into the lake. However, this method would mean that there would be less water available for local residents and farmers. With agriculture as a major part of Utah's economy, officials are not likely to take this approach.

Consequently, the only other way to save the lake is by taking actions to reverse climate change so that more of the lake does not dry up. This example shows us the significance of the dangers that climate change poses in the very near future. It is vital that we take actions to prevent these disasters, which could negatively affect a large amount of the global population, from happening.


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