In DepthClimate

Earth's lakes are warming faster than its air

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Science  18 Dec 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6267, pp. 1449
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6267.1449

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Summary

A global survey of hundreds of the Earth's lakes reveals that climate change is causing lakes to warm faster than the oceans or the air around them. One reason is that warmer wintertime temperatures are producing less ice atop lakes that normally freeze over. Reduced lake ice coverage, in turn, increases the amount of sunlight lakes absorb. The changes could spell trouble for cold water lake species like trout. It may also have more serious global effects. Higher lake temperatures may speed the conversion of carbon-rich organic matter in lake sediments into methane and carbon dioxide, gases that once released into the atmosphere could exacerbate global warming.

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