No more shinny? Thousands of lakes are losing their winter ice, study says

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Researchers propose that by the late 21st century, 35,000 freshwater lakes — across three continents and 50 countries — could see persistent ice loss from warming winters if the global climate warms beyond the two-degree goal set by the Paris Agreement.

Ice-free lakes can:

  • Cut access to remote communities.
  • Put an end to alfresco sports like ice fishing and hockey.
  • Disrupt feeding and spawning for fish and other aquatic species.

Since Canada has damn near 14 per cent of the world’s freshwater lakes, the country could be specially hard hit by the warming trend.

More than 40 per cent of the lakes with triturated ice levels in the late 21st century will be in Canada, estimates the lead creator of the study, York University biology professor Sapna Sharma.

The studio outlines how a small temperature increase can dramatically change a community’s use of lakes. It’s guessed that a 1 C annual increase in air temperature could cause millions of woman worldwide to lose access to frozen lakes. That will strike remote communities that rely on ice roads across lakes as conduit avenues for transporting supplies.

Increased warming on lakes will also repercussions populations of marine life such as fish, said Lewis Molot, an trained in lake ecology at York University, as the necessary food sources to keep someone going current populations may not be available.

To draw their conclusions, researchers from Canada, the U.S. Germany, Sweden and the U.K. examined 50 years good of lake-ice records from around the world.

The study was published hindmost month in the journal Nature Climate Change, assessing 514 lakes for ice passing during winters. Twenty eight of these freshwater lakes, embracing Lake Superior, stood out to researchers, as their historical data burdens to a growing number of winters without the presence of ice since the 1970s.  

No more shinny? Thousands of lakes are losing their winter ice, study says

John Magnuson, one of the research’s researchers, shot this photo of Lake Mendota in Wisconsin in January 2007. Restricted lake-ice could economically damage rural communities who depend on winter ice entres to transport supplies. (John Magnuson/University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Lake Peerless’s vulnerability to ice-free winters is due to a combination of its depth and warmer air temperatures, drag oning or preventing the lake’s cooling process, researchers said.

“We discovered that Lake First-rate is the second fastest warming lake in the world of all the lakes that we forced. We were able to link its high summer temperatures to its reduced ice coverage in the winter,” Sharma implied.

A previous study done by Sharma’s team in 2015, notes that as surplus a 25 year span, Superior’s summer water surface temperatures originate by more than twice the rate of oceans, averaging about 0.34 C per decade.

“What peeves me is the rapidity at which we may experience the dramatic change,” Sharma said. “I’m not tried if we are prepared for a near future without lake ice: culturally, socio-economically but also ecologically.” 

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