Located in southeastern Siberia, Lake Baikal is the largest, old and biotically diverse lake in the world. As the Earth's climate changes globally, the unique ecosystem of Baikal also transforms.
Here are current environmental problems of the Baikal:
  • abnormal changes of the water level;
  • increased water consumption because of agricultural expansion;
  • increased geodynamic activity under the lake bottom, followed by methane degassing;
  • chemical pollution;
  • a massive illegal building of touristic facilities.
Ecologists report that Baikal's shores are covered with spirogyra – an alga that indicates phosphates and nitrates contamination. This contamination also influences on endemic to Lake Baikal – copepod Epischura baikalensis, which is the dominant zooplankton species in the lake (80-90% of total biomass). This species is the most important bio-filter of Baikal waters. Reduction of this species of crustaceans is ruinous for Lake Baikal.

Olkhon Island. A combination of satellite images of medium (Landsat-8, 13 September 2015) and ultra-high resolution (Pleiades, 29 September 2015) displays both general development of the north-west coast and detailed plan of unsanctioned buildings in Khuzhir village.

An ultra-high resolution image from Pleiades shows the spread of blue-green algae in bays of Lake Baikal.
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