Lake Tanganyika Under Threat from Climate Change

The ecology of Lake Tanganyika — Africa’s second-largest body of water and site of the famed encounter between Henry Stanley and David Livingstone — is under siege due to global climate change, according to studies by two independent teams of scientists. The scientists have found that rising air temperatures have reduced the lake’s nutrient load and increased its water temperature, resulting in decreasing fish stocks. Local fishing yields have fallen by over one-third in the last three decades, with further declines predicted. That’s an economic and health catastrophe for area residents, who have traditionally gotten between 25 and 40 percent of their protein from the lake’s fish. Tanganyika is the second-deepest lake in the world and the second most biodiverse, with 350 known fish species.