Responses of lakes to climate change
Lakes can be extremely sensitive to short- and long-term changes in the weather and so are intrinsically sensitive to climate change either through a direct effect, or indirectly by affecting process that take place in the catchment. Understanding the response of lakes to climate change is of great practical importance since year-to-year changes in weather patterns can influence lake water quality, the ecological success of a particular species with conservation value and the ecological status of a lake in the terms of the Water Framework Directive.
Our first approach is to analyse our long-term (nearly 60 years) datatsets on the physics, chemistry and biology at different trophic levels for lakes of different type to understand how lakes have responded to past climate change. Our second approach is to make use of a network of automatic water quality monitoring stations in the UK and across Europe to provide high-resolution data on weather patterns and lake responses. These two types of information feed into models of lake performance such as PROTECH which can, in turn, be coupled to models of climate change and nutrient delivery from the catchment to allow us to forecast the envelope of responses of lakes to climate change. Part of our most recent work is funded by the EU-CLIME and Euro-limpacs projects.
Climate and lake impacts in Europe (EU-CLIME, EU Framework 5)
Integrated project to evaluate the impacts of global change on European freshwater ecosystems, Euro-limpacs, EU Framework 6)
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