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Loss of ice cover, shifting phenology, and more extreme events in Northern Hemisphere lakes

Sharma, S., Richardson, D. C. ORCID:, Woolway, R. I. ORCID:, Imrit, M. A. ORCID:, Bouffard, D. ORCID:, Blagrave, K., Daly, J. ORCID:, Filazzola, A. ORCID:, Granin, N., Korhonen, J., Magnuson, J., Marszelewski, W., Matsuzaki, S.‐I. S. ORCID:, Perry, W., Robertson, D. M., Rudstam, L. G., Weyhenmeyer, G. A. ORCID: and Yao, H. ORCID: (2021) Loss of ice cover, shifting phenology, and more extreme events in Northern Hemisphere lakes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 126 (10). e2021JG006348. ISSN 2169-8953

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2021JG006348


Long-term lake ice phenological records from around the Northern Hemisphere provide unique sensitive indicators of climatic variations, even prior to the existence of physical meteorological measurement stations. Here, we updated ice phenology records for 60 lakes with time-series ranging from 107–204 years to provide the first re-assessment of Northern Hemispheric ice trends since 2004 by adding 15 additional years of ice phenology records and 40 lakes to our study. We found that, on average, ice-on was 11.0 days later, ice-off was 6.8 days earlier, and ice duration was 17.0 days shorter per century over the entire record for each lake. Trends in ice-on and ice duration were six times faster in the last 25-year period (1992–2016) than previous quarter centuries. More extreme events in recent decades, including late ice-on, early ice-off, shorter periods of ice cover, or no ice cover at all, contribute to the increasing rate of lake ice loss. Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions could limit increases in air temperature and abate losses in lake ice cover that would subsequently limit ecological, cultural, and socioeconomic consequences, such as increased evaporation rates, warmer water temperatures, degraded water quality, and the formation of toxic algal blooms.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:100742


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