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Warming of Near-Surface Summer Water Temperatures in Lakes of the Conterminous United States

1
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32653, USA
2
Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(12), 3381; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123381
Received: 30 October 2020 / Revised: 22 November 2020 / Accepted: 27 November 2020 / Published: 2 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity and Functionality of Aquatic Ecosystems)
Because warming water temperatures have widespread consequences for freshwater communities, we were interested in estimating the patterns and rates of change of near-surface summer water temperatures in United States lakes. We developed multiple regression models to relate daily surface water temperatures in lakes of the conterminous United States to 8-day average air temperatures, latitude, elevation, and sampling month and year using data from 5723 lake samples in the months of June-September during the period 1981–2018. Our model explained 79% of the variation with a root-mean-square error of 1.69 °C. We predicted monthly average near-surface water temperatures for 1033 lakes for each year from 1981 through 2018. Lakes across the conterminous United States have been warming for the period 1981–2018 at an average heating rate of 0.32 °C per decade for the summer months (June–September). The average summer warming from 1981–2018 would be the equivalent of a lake decreasing 259 m in elevation or moving 233 km south. On the basis of national air temperatures starting in 1895, it was inferred that lake water temperatures are variable from year to year and have been steadily increasing since 1964, but that maximum temperatures in the 1930s were just as warm as those in 2008–2018. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; lake heating; air–water temperatures; heating rates of lakes; hindcasting temperatures; lake temperature models; conterminous United States climate change; lake heating; air–water temperatures; heating rates of lakes; hindcasting temperatures; lake temperature models; conterminous United States
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bachmann, R.W.; Canfield, D.E., Jr.; Sharma, S.; Lecours, V. Warming of Near-Surface Summer Water Temperatures in Lakes of the Conterminous United States. Water 2020, 12, 3381. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123381

AMA Style

Bachmann RW, Canfield DE Jr., Sharma S, Lecours V. Warming of Near-Surface Summer Water Temperatures in Lakes of the Conterminous United States. Water. 2020; 12(12):3381. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123381

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bachmann, Roger W., Daniel E. Canfield Jr., Sapna Sharma, and Vincent Lecours. 2020. "Warming of Near-Surface Summer Water Temperatures in Lakes of the Conterminous United States" Water 12, no. 12: 3381. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123381

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