Global lake warming under scrutiny

Global lake warming under scrutiny

Scientists from around the world are pooling data and expertise in a push to better understand global changes in lake temperature.

scientists study global lake warming

The collaboration, which comprises 30 key international scientists, is working to develop a unified approach to the measurement of lake water temperature trends at a global scale.

New Zealand is represented by NIWA freshwater scientist Dr Piet Verburg.

The Global Lake Temperature Collaboration is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, NASA and University of Nebraska. At its first meeting last June, the working groups analysed data from roughly 200 lakes around the globe.

Recent studies have revealed significant warming of the world's lakes, and this rate of warming is, in many lakes, greater than that of the air temperature, which has implications for resident plant and animal life.

“In New Zealand, we need good lake records,” says Dr Verburg. “We have excellent air temperature records, some of which date back 100 years, which is why we can say that air temperature has increased by around 1 degree in the past century. Only if you have good monitoring data can you examine long-term trends.”