According to the text, for the first time in history, changes in these places are no longer due to natural climate variability and can only be explained by massive greenhouse gas emissions since the Industrial Revolution.
‘The influence of human-induced climate change is evident in the increase in the temperature of the lakes and in the fact that the ice sheet forms later and melts earlier’, as revealed by the study, carried out by experts from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Led by professor Luke Grant, the investigation indicates that if the impacts continue to increase in the future, humanity is at risk of seriously damaging the lake ecosystems, including the quality of the water and the populations of native fish species.
‘This would be disastrous for the many ways that local communities depend on lakes, from drinking water supplies to fishing’, Grant said.
The research also predicts future development under different warming scenarios: in a low-emission context, the average warming of lakes in the future is estimated to stabilize at +1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and the duration of the ice sheet will be 14 days less.
On the other hand, in a world with high emissions, those changes could cause an increase of more than 4.0 ° C and 46 days less of ice.
To carry out the study, scientists developed multiple computer simulations with models of lakes on a global scale, on which they ran a series of climate models.
In this way they proved that it is highly unlikely that trends in lake temperatures and ice sheet in recent decades can be explained solely by natural climate variability.
Estimates indicate that for every 1 ° C increase in global air temperature, lakes will warm 0.9 ° C and lose 9.7 days of ice.