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Temperature Sentinels Global Project: Thermal Responses to Regional Climate and Teleconnections

In the first phase of the Temperature Sentinels Project of the Climate Sentinels Working Group, two small lakes of differing transparency were examined to understand which aspects of full temperature profiles (including stratification) were most responsive to a range of climate variables (temperature, precipitation, acid recovery, solar radiation, wind, and others; Pilla et al. in review). This global project extends this work by analyzing long-term temperature profile data from lakes around the world. These data are being used to assess trends in lake thermal structure, with specific focus on deepwater temperatures and thermal stratification.  We focus on lake thermal trends during two time periods, 1970-2010 and 1990-2010, where lake temperature data are most available. The specific questions that we plan to address are: (1) How has thermal structure, particularly deepwater temperatures and thermal stratification, changed in lakes across the world?  (2) What geomorphic and/or limnological variables best explain the trends in lake thermal structure?  We envision several projects stemming from this first set of research questions, including understanding how lakes have responded to regional climate patterns, changes in seasonal lake temperature patterns and phenology, and how global teleconnections (e.g., ENSO) influence lake thermal structure.

Timeline: 
2014-05-01 to 2016-12-31
Project Working Group: 

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