Experts have ruled out speculations that "red tide" might have caused Lake Orumieh to turn red, blaming the rare phenomenon on global warming.
Lake Orumieh, the second largest salt water lake on earth, turned red as global warming accelerates the evaporation of the lake and gives a red tenor to water.
“Serious evaporation causes microscopic changes in magnesium compounds in the water. Such changes can initiate the red color of the body of water,” Mohammad-Baqer Saddouq, deputy of Iran's Environment Organization told Mehr news agency on Wednesday.
Saddouq discarded the algae bloom theory, saying the algae cannot survive in the mineral-rich water of Lake Orumieh, theorizing that a possible change in the salt compounds might have caused the incident.
“Salts with magnesium in the lake have been intensified and concentrated as a result of the evaporation process. Such compounds give a red tone to the water,” he said.
“Allowing such salt to dry will turn it white,” Saddouq further explained.
Declining rainfall, climate change, and rising temperatures accelerate the evaporation process of the lake, which link to global concerns over the issue.
Experts have warned that ecological factors, together with human activity, will eventually lead to the drying up of Lake Orumieh.
UNESCO has registered the Lake Orumieh as a Biosphere Reserve; it is listed as a wetland of international importance under the 1971 Ramsar Convention.