Humans to Blame for Warming Lakes


While the climate crisis is, unfortunately, a reality, it is all too easy to assume that every aspect of our changing world is a consequence of climate change.

Assumptions play no role in key environmental assessments and mitigation strategies such as we will see in the upcoming UN climate change COP-26 conference – it’s the science and hard facts that are critical. New research published this week is a prime example of facts that matter. Using model projections combined with satellite data from ESA’s Climate Change Initiative, this latest research shows that the global rise in the temperature of lake water and dwindling lake-ice cover can only be explained by the increase in greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial revolution – in other words, humans are clearly to blame.

According to the paper published in Nature Geoscience, the influence of human-induced climate change is evident in rising lake-water temperatures and the fact that lake ice-cover forms later and melts sooner.

Luke Grant, from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and lead author, said, “These physical properties are fundamental to lake ecosystems. As impacts continue to increase in the future, we risk severely damaging lake ecosystems, including water quality and populations of native fish species. This would be disastrous for the many ways in which local communities depend on lakes, such as drinking water supply and fishing.” The research team also predicted how things are likely to develop in the future under different warming scenarios.

Continue reading at European Space Agency

Image via European Space Agency