Investigating Changes in Lake Ice Breakup Under Current and Future Climate Change
Lopez, Lianna Stephanie
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Changes in climate profoundly influence the timing of lake ice breakup. We assessed: 1) potential future changes in lake ice breakup date in the Great Lakes Region and 2) historical linear changes and shifts in ice breakup across the Northern Hemisphere. We found that at the regional and global scales, warming air temperatures contributed to earlier ice breakup. In the Great Lakes region, ice breakup was forecasted to occur 13 days earlier on average by 2070. Across the Northern Hemisphere, we detected abrupt changes in ice breakup dates in the 1970s to the 2000s, coinciding with shifts in air temperature, precipitation and phase switches of climate oscillations. The structure and function of many lakes in the mid- and high latitudes are influenced by seasonal ice cover, and these ecosystems will likely undergo a variety of changes with earlier ice breakup and a shorter ice season.