From: University of Southampton
Published December 20, 2016 12:07 PM

Arctic lakes thawing earlier each year

Scientists from the University of Southampton have found Arctic lakes, covered with ice during the winter months, are melting earlier each spring.

The team, who monitored 13,300 lakes using satellite imagery, have shown that on average ice is breaking up one day earlier per year, based on a 14-year period between 2000 and 2013. Their findings are published in the Nature journal 'Scientific Reports'.

The researchers used information on how light is reflected off the lakes, as recorded by NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor, which collects a range of spectral and thermal data on a daily basis as it circles the globe on two satellites. This study used the changes in reflectance to identify the freezing and thawing processes.

Southampton’s Professor Jadu Dash, says: “Previous studies have looked into small numbers of lakes to show the impact of changes in temperature on the cyclic nature of lake-ice cover. However, ours is the first to use time-series of satellite data to monitor thousands of lakes in this way across the Arctic. It contributes to the growing range of observations showing the influence that warmer temperatures are having on the Arctic.”

Read more at University of Southampton

Photo credit: Magnus Manske via Wikimedia Commons

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

2017©. Copyright Environmental News Network