World’s lakes warming rate is greater than that of ocean and atmosphere
Climate change has been threatening freshwater supplies and ecosystem as it has been leading to rapid warming of lakes. The researchers have given this conclusion after monitoring 235 lakes for at least 25 years.
The Geophysical Research Letters-published study is the first to incorporate the combination of satellite temperature data and long-term ground measurements. The study has found that the world’s lakes are warming at an average rate of 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit every 10 years. This level of rise has been many popular waters, including Lake Tahoe, the Dead Sea, two reservoirs serving New York City, Seattle's Lake Washington and Ontario (+.59 F) and Superior.
The researchers said that the warming rate is significantly up when compared to the ocean or the atmosphere and will have alarming effects.
The research, which is the largest of its kind, has predicted that algal bloom will increase 20% in lakes over the next century as warming rates will increase. Algal blooms that are toxic for fish and animals will increase by 5%, unveiled the study funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation.
If the trend continues at the same pace then methane emissions will increase 4% over the next decade. Study’s co-author Stephanie Hampton, director of Washington State University's Center for Environmental Research said that surface water is essential for most of the human uses.
Temperature of water affects many other properties that are important to the health and viability of ecosystems. The researchers said that when temperature shifts from the normal level then life evolving in a lake can change significantly and may even disappear.
Study’s lead researcher Catherine O'Reilly from Illinois State University said, “These results suggest that large changes in our lakes are not only unavoidable, but are probably already happening”.
Study’s co-author Simon Hook, science division manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, said that they have combined the ground and satellite measurements in order to come up with the most comprehensive view of how lake temperatures are changing around the world.
A number of factors are associated with the warming trend. The researchers said that there is an urgent need to include climate impacts to improve condition of lakes.
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