Name ____________________________________________ Core __________________ Date ________________________
Data shows that the lake is suffering. Scientist
Trouble on Earth's Deepest Lake
Lyubov Izmestieva, her family, and other scientists have
been charting the harmful changes. They measure water
temperature and collect samples of animal plankton. They
have been doing this every 7 to 10 days, four seasons a year,
for the last 60 years. The result has been a large collection
of data. It demonstrates that Lake Baikal is warming. The
data also shows that the lake's food web is changing.
Izmestieva's family has worked to protect the lake
for generations. In the 1960s, her grandfather and other
scientists started a protest. It was against plans to build a
paper mill on Baikal's shores. They were ignored. The plant
Lake Baikal is the world's deepest and biggest
freshwater lake. It is located in Russia. The body of water is
becoming polluted, crowded, and increasingly warm. Many
was built and continues to operate. This plant created a dead
zone. That's an area with no oxygen. The dead zone is miles
wide in the lake. It is possibly poisoning the lake's seals.
Since then, environmentalists have joined in the
people are rallying to preserve the lake. Meanwhile, one of
the world's rarest ecosystems sits in an unstable condition.
The size of Lake Baikal is amazing. Scientists think
that a crack in Earth's crust created the immense body of
fight. Environmentalist Marina Rikhvanova helped establish
the group Baikal Environmental Wave. This group is
working to close the paper mill.
The group successfully protested other projects that
water's basin. It stretches 400 miles long. The inland lake
measures one mile deep in some places. It holds more water
than all of the Great Lakes put together. In fact, Baikal
contains 20 percent of Earth's fresh water. This is enough to
supply everyone on the planet with six cups of water a day
for the next 6,000 years.
might harm Lake Baikal. In 2006, the group spoke out
against plans to construct an oil pipeline along the lake's
northern shores. Russia's president ordered the pipeline rerouted. It was a rare victory for Russian environmentalists.
The triumph earned Rikhvanova international praise.
Now, the group is speaking out against plans to
The lake is home to 1,500 species of plants and
animals that can be found nowhere else in the world. For
example, the world's only true species of freshwater seals
lives there.
build a plant near the lake. The plant would be used to
improve uranium. Officials say the project would bring
thousands of jobs to this poor region.
Environmentalists, though, say it's a grave mistake.
Now, the scientific community is increasingly
concerned about Lake Baikal's ecosystem. The body of
water faces many threats. Factories have been caught
releasing pollution into the lake. Developers are
constructing vacation homes. An increasing number of
tourists have been flocking to the lake. They are altering the
lake's ecology. The planet's warming climate isn't helping,
either.
It would threaten a natural wonder with more pollution, they
say.
Preserving Lake Baikal continues to be a challenge.
Environmentalists view the lake as a test. The lake,
Rikhvanova said, serves as a sign of whether humans can
"preserve what nature has created."
Name __________________________________________ Core ________________ Date _________________________
Multiple Choice: Circle the letter of the choice the best completes the statement. (2 points each)
1) Which is the closest synonym for the word
data?
a) Folklore
b) Fractions
c) Footage
d) Figures
2) The lake is home to how many species of plants
and animals that can be found nowhere else in
the world.
a) 3,000
b) 1,000
c) 1,500
d) 6,000
3) Lake Baikal is the world's deepest and biggest
c) Italy
d) Russia
4) Which of these is an opinion?
a) Russia's president ordered an oil pipeline rerouted from Lake Baikal.
b) An increasing number of tourists have been
flocking to Lake Baikal.
c) Data shows that Lake Baikal is warming and
its food web is changing.
d) Marina Rikhvanova was wise to create
Baikal Environmental Wave.
5) Baikal contains what percent of Earth's fresh
water?
a) 5 percent
freshwater lake. Where is it located?
b) 10 percent
a) Europe
c) 15 percent
b) England
d) 20 percent
Directions: In the space below imagine that you are a scientist, an environmentalist, or someone concerned about jobs in
the Lake Baikal region. Write a short letter to Russia's president. In it, describe what you know about Lake Baikal and what
should be done about it. Support your position with details from the article, as well as ideas of your own. (5 points)
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Trouble on Earth`s Deepest Lake