Lakes have became warmer: NASA study
Lakes on Earth have warmed up in the last 25 years and in certain regions even quicker than air - a phenomenon that could be blamed on the global climate change, a first-of-its-kind NASA study said.world Updated: Nov 24, 2010 14:46 IST
Lakes on Earth have warmed up in the last 25 years and in certain regions even quicker than air - a phenomenon that could be blamed on the global climate change, a first-of-its-kind NASA study said.
Two NASA researchers - Philipp Schneider and Simon Hook of Jet Propulsion Laboratory - used satellite data to look at 167 large lakes worldwide and found on average the waterbodies have warmed .85 degree Fahrenheit per decade since 1985.
Some lakes have warmed up as much as 1.8 degree F per decade, the study said, adding that the results were consistent with the expected changes associated with global warming.
The largest and most consistent area of warming is northern Europe, while the trend is slightly weaker in southeastern Europe around Black and Caspian seas, and Kazakhstan, the study said. The heating increased slightly farther east in Siberia, Mongolia and northern China.
In North America, southwestern US experienced slightly higher trend than the Great Lakes region, NASA said. The tropics and mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere showed lesser warming.
The scientists in their study said, the warming trend was global and the highest surge in temperatures were reported in the mid to high-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.
In certain regions, such as the Great Lakes and northern Europe, waterbodies appear to be warming more quickly than surrounding air, it said.
"Our analysis provides a new, independent data source for assessing the impact of climate change over land around the world," said Schneider, lead author of the study published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
"The results have implications for lake ecosystems, which can be adversely affected by even small water temperature changes."
Small changes in water temperature can result in algal blooms that can make a lake toxic to fish or result in the introduction of non-native species which could change the ecosystem of the waterbody, the study added.