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Global lake thermal regions shift under climate change

Maberly, S. C., O'Donnell, R. A., Woolway, R. I., Cutler, M. E. J., Gong, M., Jones, I. D., Merchant, C. J., Miller, C. A., Politi, E., Scott, E. M., Thackeray, S. J. and Tyler, A. N. (2020) Global lake thermal regions shift under climate change. Nature Communications, 11. 1232. ISSN 2041-1723

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-15108-z

Abstract/Summary

Water temperature is critical for the ecology of lakes. However, the ability to predict its spatial and seasonal variation is constrained by the lack of a thermal classification system. Here we define lake thermal regions using objective analysis of seasonal surface temperature dynamics from satellite observations. Nine lake thermal regions are identified that mapped largely contiguously globally, and robustly even for small lakes. The regions differed from other global patterns, and so provide unique information. Using a lake model forced by 21st century climate projections we found that 12, 27 and 66% of lakes will change to a lower latitude thermal region by 2080-2099 for low, medium and high greenhouse gas concentration trajectories (Representative Concentration Pathways 2.6, 6.0 and 8.5) respectively. Under the worst-case scenario, a 79% reduction in the number of lakes in the northernmost thermal region is projected. This thermal region framework will facilitate the global scaling of lake-research.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:89218
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group

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