A group of scientists has found that the level of heavy
metals such as zinc, lead and mercury is on the rise in river Hooghly due to
the impact of climate change. The rise in presence of heavy metals in the river
water, the scientists say, lead to accumulation of such metals in the endemic
fishes and could enter the human body through food chain. The researchers were
surprised after they noticed a rise in heavy metals in the surface water of
lower Ganges despite less industrial activities in the coastal zone. "Our
present research confirms the role of acidification in regulating the level of
heavy metals in the Hooghly estuarine system," said Professor Abhijit
Mitra, former head of the marine science department of Calcutta University.
“The human-induced increase of carbon-dioxide which causes climate change has
in turn caused a substantial decrease of pH in coastal waters," he said.