Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Study: Climate Change Turning World's Lakes Into Hot Tubs

The message of a new study funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation: don't forget freshwater when considering the impacts of climate change. Lakes and other bodies of water are threatened by potentially catastrophic vulnerabilities.
December 20, 2015, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

A NASA press release reports: "Climate change is rapidly warming lakes around the world, threatening freshwater supplies and ecosystems, according to a new NASA and National Science Foundation-funded study of more than half of the world's freshwater supply."

The study is the largest of its kind, "[u]sing more than 25 years of satellite temperature data and ground measurements of 235 lakes on six continents." The key finding: lakes are warming an average of 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit each decade over that time span.

The warming of freshwater has a spiraling effect. According to the press release: "As warming rates increase over the next century, algal blooms, which can rob water of oxygen, are projected to increase 20 percent in lakes. Algal blooms that are toxic to fish and animals are expected to increase by 5 percent. Emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide on 100-year time scales, will increase 4 percent over the next decade, if these rates continue."

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 in NASA Global Climate Change
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email