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Ongoing Project: Global lake temperature collaboration, examining global lake temperature trends from in situ and remote sensing data

John Lenters (LimnoTech), Catherine O’Reilly (Illinois State University), Jordan Read (USGS), Sapna Sharma (York University), Derek Gray (California University of Pennsylvania), Amy Hetherington, Lars Rudstam, and other GLEON collaborators 

Recent studies have revealed significant warming of lakes throughout the world, and the observed rate of lake warming is, in many cases, more rapid than that of the ambient air temperature. The scientific community is just beginning to understand the global extent, regional patterns, physical mechanisms, and ecological consequences of lake warming. Although many in situ lake temperature records are available, only a few encompass long time periods. The Global Lake Temperature Collaboration is an international effort to synthesize global records of lake temperature from in situ and satellite-based measurements. Surface water temperature data are analyzed from over 120 lakes, including Oneida Lake, distributed across 40 countries. The focus is primarily on mean summer water temperatures for the 25 year period of 1985-2009. Linear regression analysis reveals that 65% of the lakes are experiencing significant summer warming (p<0.1), with another 30% warming at a rate that is not statistically significant. Only 5% of the lakes show cooling trends (none of which are significant). Multi-authored papers were published in 2015 in Nature Data and Geophysical Research Letters.