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Jul 19, 2021

Great Salt Lake is shrinking fast. Scientists demand action before it becomes a toxic dustbin

Posted by in category: futurism

The largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere is shrinking rapidly. Left alone, the lake’s footprint would span 2100 square miles — more than three times the area of Houston. An analysis published last year showed that water siphoned off the rivers that feed the natural wonder had reduced its level by 11 feet, depleting the lake area by more than half.

The trouble trickles up the food chain. The Utah Geological Survey openly expressed its fear Thursday that the shrinking lake levels threaten to kill microbialites — underwater reef-like mounds that help feed brine flies, brine shrimp and, thus, the 338 species of birds that visit each year.


Great Salt Lake is also known as America’s Dead Sea — owing to a likeness to its much smaller Middle Eastern counterpart — but scientists worry the moniker could soon take new meaning.

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