Date of this Version
Eos, Vol. 93, No. 43, 23 October 2012
It is widely recognized that climate change is affecting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Recent studies have revealed significant warming of lakes throughout the world, and this rate of warming is often larger than that of the ambient air temperature (up to 2–3 times more rapid). Although hypotheses have been proposed to explain these high rates of lake warming (e.g., ice albedo feedbacks or changes in cloud cover), the fundamental drivers remain poorly understood. Furthermore, these rapid warming rates have profound implications for lake hydrodynamics, productivity, and biotic communities. It is essential therefore that global data sets of water temperature be compiled to monitor and understand these long-term changes in lakes, reservoirs, and other inland water bodies.