It is recognized that global and regional climate change has important implications for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In everyday published studies that has revealed significant warming of lakes and reservoirs throughout the world. Remarkably, these previous studies have also found that the observed rate of lake warming is sometimes greater than that of ambient air temperature.

Climate change is already beginning to affect plants and animals that live in freshwater lakes and rivers, altering their habitat and bringing life-threatening stress and disease. Temperature plays an important role is also important role on water chemistry. The rate of chemical reactions generally increases at higher temperature, which in turn affects biological activity. An important example of the effects of temperature on water chemistry is its impact on oxygen.

Let’s take an example- In the last 25 years, the world’s largest lakes have been steadily warming, confirms the new study, some by as much as 4°F In some cases that is seven times faster than air temperatures have risen over the same period. It’s an important find, scientists say, because lake ecology can be extremely temperature-sensitive. “A small change in temperature can have quite a dramatic effect.”

The GLTC initiative has now assembled a database of summer-mean lake surface temperature for 291 lakes and reservoirs around the world, roughly doubling the amount of data previously available from satellite alone. This initial GLTC database – now published in Scientific Data – focuses on the period 1985-2009 due to the abundance of both satellite and in situ data. This unique, global dataset will offer an invaluable, baseline perspective on lake thermal conditions in our ever-changing global climate.