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How a temperature change can change the color of a lake

062222_Lake George Crittenden County_ by Flickr / Midnight Believer
Midnight Believer, Flickr
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An attempt to drain Lake George in Crittenden County via a controlled breach after erosion developed into a sinkhole in the levee resulted in a water shortage for the county seat of Marion.

Everyone loves being at a lakeshore or on the lake, itself. But do you know what makes a lake the color it is? On this week's "Science Behind the Forecast'' with WAVE 3 meteorologist Tawana Andrew, we learn about the factors that affect the color of a lake. Andrew broke down the basics. 

"A Lake's color depends on a couple of things. The depth of the water and what, of course, is in the water. Brown or green lakes tend to have more organic matter, more algae, more sediment in them." Andrew stated. "Lakes in areas with average summer temperatures below is 66 degrees are the ones that are more likely to be blue."

But that blue lake could change color with a rise in temperature. Andrew explains.

"An increase of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit in average summer temperatures, which is about the amount that scientists could see possible by the end of the century, would lead to about 4,000 of the Lakes across the world that are currently blue, turning green." She said. "Part of the reason for this is that warmer water allows more algae to bloom and that changes the Lakes color."

You can listen to the entire episode of "Science Behind the Forecast" with WAVE 3 meteorologist Tawana Andrew in the media player below. 

 

https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/temperatures-and-lakes/s-jzj28YPE0A7?si=da7efb04691643cda3fc275cafa11f65&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for LPM. Email Bill at bburton@lpm.org.