Figure 1. A photo of Lake Okeechobee, looking out over the western marsh region to the open waters of the large lake. Credit: South Florida Water Management District

Climate Change and Ecosystem Services of Florida’s Largest Water Body: Lake Okeechobee

Future climate change could result in higher temperatures and greater evaporative water loss in Florida. If these changes are not compensated for by more rainfall, the state’s largest water body, Lake Okeechobee, could experience prolonged periods of very low water levels and catastrophic loss of its ecosystem services, which are the benefits that people receive from ecosystems. This 6-page fact sheet provides background, optimal and actual water levels, projected changes in South Florida climate & their effects on water levels in Lake Okeechobee, their effects on ecosystem services, and possible remedies. Written by Karl Havens, and published by the UF Department of Sea Grant, June 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/sg137