Dead Sea Drying Up
Environmentalists say mismanagement of water resources around the Dead Sea has produced more than 3,000 sinkholes.
The saline lake — bordered by Jordan, Israel and the West Bank — is evaporating at nearly four feet per year, which leaves behind the salt pockets responsible for the dangerous sinkholes.
EcoPeace says the construction of dams, storage reservoirs and pipelines has caused the unique salt lake to dry up at a distressing rate. Water simply is not flowing in as freely as it once did from the typical sources, the Jordan River and various tributaries.
The first sinkhole appeared in the 1980s, but new ones appear every single day. They grow in groups and collapse into one another to create massive craters.
In 2005, Smithsonian magazine said that roughly 1,000 sinkholes had been reported. The new 3,000-plus figure indicates that they have been appearing at an accelerated rate in recent years.
Great Lakes Suddenly Rise From Record Low Levels
One of the most rapid rises in water levels on the Great Lakes in recorded history marks the end of an unprecedented period of low levels that began in 1998.
Levels of the adjacent lakes Michigan and Huron have recently risen by more than 3 feet since they dropped to the lowest level on record in January 2013.
Routine measurements of the Great Lakes’ water levels have been made continually since the mid-1800s, and the recent rise is nearly equal to the record-setting increase that occurred between January 1950 and December 1951.
A team of U.S. and Canadian researchers says that the latest rise shows how quickly short-term climate fluctuations like the 2014 Arctic polar vortex can affect water supplies.
A combination of the elevated water levels on Lake Michigan and a powerful storm on Halloween 2014 resulted in high waves pounding the Chicago waterfront and also caused some lakeside flooding.