High Water

Jiangfeng Chu
North Allegheny Intermediate High School
Nationality: United States

This photograph of Lake Mead was taken from the top of the Hoover Dam from the Nevada side. Lake Mead is fed by the Colorado River, whose discharge mostly originates from snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains. The lake's water level has been steadily dropping during the 21st century due to major shrinkages of the Rocky Mountain snowpack. As the water surface falls, a distinct "bathtub ring" can be seen surrounding the shoreline. The white color is caused by the precipitation of calcium-rich minerals onto the previously submerged rock. The ring serves as a stark reminder of the danger that climate change presents to agriculture and drinking water supplies in the surrounding regions. Even more alarming is the realization that similar changes are occurring around the planet. If we do not take immediate action against climate change, the ring around Lake Mead may soon become a porcelain bowl extending to the lake floor.

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