EARTH WIRE -- Lake Baikal`s water level may return to normal in 2017

EARTH WIRE -- Lake Baikal`s water level may return to normal in 2017

Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake, curves for nearly 400 miles through south-eastern Siberia, north of the Mongolian border. More than 5,000 feet deep (1637m) at its most profound, with another four-mile-thick layer of sediment further down, the lake’s cold, oxygen-rich waters teem with bizarre life-forms. (lakebaikal.org)

The trend towards an increased level of water is stronger now than it was in 2015 and 2016."
Tankhoi, The Republic of Buryatia (ANTARA News) - The water volume in Lake Baikal is expected to return to normal levels in 2017, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoy told reporters.

"The trend towards an increased level of water is stronger now than it was in 2015 and 2016. In February, the level will fall below the minimal of 456 meters but as far as dynamics go, we can see that the negative trend is about to end. Probably, by next year the level won't sink below the minimum," Donskoy elaborated.

At the same time, he noted that the level of water in the lake had begun to increase, TASS reported.

"A more stable process of increasing the water level in Baikal has begun, the process is underway, and we believe that the negative factors will dry up so Baikal could develop steadily," the minister stressed.

Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake, curves for nearly 400 miles through south-eastern Siberia, north of the Mongolian border.

It lies in a cleft where Asia is literally splitting apart, the beginnings of a future ocean.

Geologists say Baikal today shows what the seaboards of North America, Africa and Europe looked like as they began to separate millions of years ago.

More than 5,000 feet deep (1637m) at its most profound, with another four-mile-thick layer of sediment further down, the lake’s cold, oxygen-rich waters teem with bizarre life-forms.

One of those is the seals’ favourite food, the golomyanka, a pink, partly transparent fish which gives birth to live young. Geologists estimate that Lake Baikal formed somewhere 20-25 million years ago, during the Mesozoic.

Surrounded by mile-high snowcapped mountains, Lake Baikal still offers vistas of unmatched beauty. The mountains are still a haven for wild animals, and the small villages are still outposts of tranquillity and self-reliance in the remote Siberian taiga, as the forest is called.

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