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Atmospheric stilling leads to prolonged thermal stratification in a large shallow polymictic lake

Woolway, R. I. ORCID:, Meinson, P., Nõges, P., Jones, I. D. and Laas, A. (2017) Atmospheric stilling leads to prolonged thermal stratification in a large shallow polymictic lake. Climatic Change, 141 (4). pp. 759-773. ISSN 1573-1480

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10584-017-1909-0


To quantify the effects of recent and potential future decreases in surface wind speeds on lake thermal stratification, we apply the one-dimensional process-based model MyLake to a large, shallow, polymictic lake, Võrtsjärv. The model is validated for a 3-year period and run separately for 28 years using long-term daily atmospheric forcing data from a nearby meteorological station. Model simulations show exceptionally good agreement with observed surface and bottom water temperatures during the 3-year period. Similarly, simulated surface water temperatures for 28 years show remarkably good agreement with long-term in situ water temperatures. Sensitivity analysis demonstrates that decreasing wind speeds has resulted in substantial changes in stratification dynamics since 1982, while increasing air temperatures during the same period had a negligible effect. Atmospheric stilling is a phenomenon observed globally, and in addition to recent increases in surface air temperature, needs to be considered when evaluating the influence of climate change on lake ecosystems.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:69595


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