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Climate Change Turns the Heat Up on Lakes! January 25, 2021

During the summer of 2020, the Great Lakes had some of their hottest temperatures on record. Photo: Ken Ilio/Moment/Getty Images

Greetings to you! Some recent research from Dr. lestyn Woolway, a research fellow at the European Space Agency’s Climate Office in the UK, told The Independent“Lakes experience heatwaves and are sensitive to variations in the climate.” 

This study was published in Nature on January 20, 2021. The research studied how “hundreds of lake temperatures changed across the world, from the period 1901 to 1999.”The researchers explained, If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, lakes will experience hotter and longer heatwaves.”

Dr. Woolway’s team researched the temperatures of lakes during heatwaves, “under two scenarios: high greenhouse gas emissions and low greenhouse gas emissions.” The Independent reported, “Compared to data from the period between 1970-1999, the average temperature of global lakes could increase to about 1.7°C during heatwaves by the end of the century in a high greenhouse gas emission future.” The Independent also reported, “High greenhouse gas emissions could increase more than just a lake’s temperature during a heatwave. The average length of a heatwave could also increase from eight days to 95 days by the end of the century.” Dr. Woolway said, “As lakes warm during the twenty-first century, their heatwaves will begin to extend across multiple seasons, with some lakes reaching a permanent heatwave state.” 

The Washington Post reported, Over the summer, the Great Lakes experienced some of their warmest temperatures on record. Surface water temperature in all the Great Lakes, except for Lake Superior, experienced temperatures in the 70s in July [2020]. Lake Erie even reported temperatures in the 80s, similar to that of Virginia Beach.”

Dr. Woolway explained, “The Great Lakes water temperatures were six to eleven degrees warmer than normal this past summer, responding to air temperatures in the region that were some of the warmest ever reported. Ultimately, lake temperatures follow the temperatures of the atmosphere.” Andrea Vander Woude, manager of NOAA’s Great Lakes Coast Watchprogram told The Washington Post, “Last year was really cold and there was a lot of rain. This year there hasn’t been as much rain, and it’s been persistently hot.”

NOAA explained, “Serving as more than just a recreational hotspot, the Great Lakes are an important source for clean water and economic livelihood. Nearly 90 percent of the freshwater in the United States and approximately 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply comes from the Great Lakes. Millions of pounds of fish are also extracted out of the lakes each year.”

National Wildlife Federation reported, “Increases in water temperature will reduce habitat for cold water fish, making the lakes more suitable habitats for invasive species and susceptible to dangerous algal blooms.” 

The study found, “The Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels could definitely slow temperature increases and reduce heatwave length in lakes. Relative to the period between 1970 and 1999, lake temperatures during heatwaves could be limited to just a 0.3°C increase by the end of the century if this goal is met. A lake’s heatwave duration could also be limited, increasing by only 27 days, rather than 95 days in a high emissions future.”

Dr. Woolway said, “To avoid major changes to lake ecosystems, action must be taken now. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions must remain at the forefront of our agenda.”

Stay tuned for more of my blogs!

If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.

Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …

Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …

~ Kobee Manatee

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A National Geographic’s Top 20 Must-See Haven Sinking into Rising Waters of Climate Change! (March 9, 2017)


Climate Change Turns the Heat Up on Lakes!

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Robert Scott Thayer

Author Robert Scott Thayer is also a recording artist who writes and sings in the pop, jazz, and children’s genres. Robert has won several International Songwriting Awards including those from Billboard. His newest children’s tune, Kobee’s Song, produced by 2012 Grammy winner Jim Cravero, is fun, upbeat, and has a solid reggae groove. It’s about the clever protagonist, KOBEE MANATEE, in Thayer’s first children’s informational picture book.

Climate Change Turns the Heat Up on Lakes! January 25, 2021