The World's Lakes are Getting Warmer

Published on October 4th, 2012 | by

Lake Superior is one of the faster warming lakes in the world

A recent analysis shows that the world’s lakes are getting warmer at a faster rate than the air.

The Global Lake Temperature Collaboration is a group of more than seventy climate scientists and limnologists from fifteen countries. In June, they held their first meeting and analyzed about two hundred lakes. Most of those lakes are warming faster than the air temperature in their regions.

Lake temperature is taken all along the water column. Surface temperatures can respond quickly to a sunny day. Bottom temperatures take much longer to warm and depend on seasonal mixing of the waters.

Warming lakes have significant effects on plant and animal populations that depend on the lake waters. Changing temperatures can affect the timing and number of offspring in a population. In some species, gender is determined by temperature while the animal is inside the egg.

Warmer lake temperatures can also shut down industry. Many factories, including many nuclear reactors, use natural water sources as coolants.

Lake Superior photo via Shutterstock

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