Deeper waters are changing less consistently than surface waters in a global analysis of 102 lakes

Pilla, Rachel M. and Williamson, Craig E. and Adamovich, Boris V. and Adrian, Rita and Anneville, Orlane and Chandra, Sudeep and Colom-Montero, William and Devlin, Shawn P. and Dix, Margaret A. and Dokulil, Martin T. and Gaiser, Evelyn E. and Girdner, Scott F. and Hambright, K. David and Hamilton, David P. and Havens, Karl and Hessen, Dag O. and Higgins, Scott N. and Huttula, Timo H. and Huuskonen, Hannu and Isles, Peter D. F. and Joehnk, Klaus D. and Jones, Ian D. and Keller, Wendel Bill and Knoll, Lesley B. and Korhonen, Johanna and Kraemer, Benjamin M. and Leavitt, Peter R. and Lepori, Fabio and Luger, Martin S. and Maberly, Stephen C. and Melack, John M. and Melles, Stephanie J. and Müller-Navarra, Dörthe C. and Pierson, Don C. and Pislegina, Helen V. and Plisnier, Pierre-Denis and Richardson, David C. and Rimmer, Alon and Rogora, Michela and Rusak, James A. and Sadro, Steven and Salmaso, Nico and Saros, Jasmine E. and Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie and Schindler, Daniel E. and Schmid, Martin and Shimaraeva, Svetlana V. and Silow, Eugene A. and Sitoki, Lewis M. and Sommaruga, Ruben and Straile, Dietmar and Strock, Kristin E. and Thiery, Wim and Timofeyev, Maxim A. and Verburg, Piet and Vinebrooke, Rolf D. and Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A. and Zadereev, Egor (2020) Deeper waters are changing less consistently than surface waters in a global analysis of 102 lakes. Scientific Reports, 10 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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Globally, lake surface water temperatures have warmed rapidly relative to air temperature, but changes in deepwater temperatures and vertical thermal structure are still largely unknown. We have compiled the most comprehensive data set to date of long-term (1970-2009) summertime vertical temperature profiles in lakes across the world to examine trends and drivers of whole-lake vertical thermal structure. We found significant increases in surface water temperatures across lakes at an average rate of +0.37°C decade-1, comparable to changes reported previously for other lakes, and similarly consistent trends of increasing water column stability (+0.08 kg m-3 decade-1). In contrast, however, deepwater temperature trends showed little change on average (+0.06°C decade-1), but had high variability across lakes, with trends in individual lakes ranging from -0.68°C decade-1 to +0.65°C decade-1. The variability in deepwater temperature trends was not explained by trends in either surface water temperatures or thermal stability within lakes, and only 8.4% was explained by lake thermal region or local lake characteristics in a random forest analysis. These findings suggest that external drivers beyond our tested lake characteristics are important in explaining long-term trends in thermal structure, such as local to regional climate patterns or additional external anthropogenic influences.

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