Climate Change is Causing World’s Biggest Lakes to Dry. Global Warming?

HUB TELEGRAM: A new study reveals how the world’s lakes are already warming at unprecedented rates due to climate change that can greatly affect freshwater supplies for surrounding ecosystems and communities.

This shift in temperatures can highly affect lake ecosystems making temperature a very crucial factor in the overall state of water and its properties, affecting the health of animals and organisms dwelling in the lake.

In this new study, researchers used satellite temperature data from surveys and ground information. Between 1985 and 2009, about 235 lakes around the world were analyzed as well. This is also the considered the largest study of this kind, where all the lakes involved in this study provide more than 50 percent of the planet’s freshwater resources.

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New findings reveal how these lakes are already warming by an average of 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit every 10 years. This warming rate is also considered faster and higher than the warming rates of oceans and the Earth’s atmosphere.

However, some of the world’s most famous lakes also manifested higher increase in temperatures that already exceeded the 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit, namely, Lake Tahoe, Lake Washington, the Dead Sea and the Great Lakes of Michigan, Superior, Huron and Ontario.

According to lead author of the study, Catherine O’Reilly of Illinois State University, these results are suggesting that these lake changes are inevitable and are already happening now.

Researchers say that this warming trend among these lakes are caused by various climate factors such as the ice that covers the lakes in the north are now declining in rates, resulting in warmer waters. Other areas are also losing cloud covers, where they are now directly exposed to sunlight.

According to co-author of the study, Simon Hook of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a lake is a symbol of a region’s health and its ecosystems as opposed to air temperatures that can change in any second.

Researchers say that this study is highly critical for surrounding lake communities as human societies greatly depend on surface water not only for drinking but lake waters are also necessary for energy generation and crop irrigation and also manufacturing operations.

NOAA admitted Wednesday global warming is playing an “insignificant role” in the warm temperatures enveloping the East Coast this December.

When asked by National Public Radio if global warming was playing a role in the warm temperatures, the deputy director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center Mike Halpert responded:

If it is, it’s probably fairly insignificant at this point. If it were to play a role, it would be more likely if, somehow, climate change is impacting either the Arctic oscillation or El Nino, and we’re not really aware that it is at this point. If you think about, maybe – the high temperature over the weekend was 70, so maybe without climate change, it would’ve been 69. I think it’s a fairly insignificant role, if any role at all.

Halpert says the unseasonably warm weather is due to an “arctic oscillation,” which traps cold air in the Arctic. An unusually strong El Nino, a climate event which causes ocean temperatures to rise, is also responsible.

Either one of these patterns would increase temperatures on its own, but together, they make for a record setting warm winter. The December heat wave broke longest-standing temperature records, some of which were 142 years old.

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