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Climate change impact on thermal and oxygen regime of shallow lakes

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Author(s): Sergey Golosov | Arkady Terzhevik | Ilia Zverev | Georgiy Kirillin | Cristof Engelhardt

Journal: Tellus A
ISSN 0280-6495

Volume: 64;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: DO deficit | oxygen depletion | anaerobic zone | thermal and mixing conditions | atmospheric forcing | climatic scenarios

ABSTRACT
Among the numerous processes that govern the functioning of a lake ecosystem, the regime of dissolved oxygen (DO) is of primary importance. The DO content is strongly affected by the temperature regime, mixing conditions and by the duration of the ice-covered period. These are formed due to atmospheric forcing and are, therefore, subject to variations in regional climate. Despite the large amount of data revealing the physical effect on the biological and chemical regimes in lakes, there is still insufficient understanding, both qualitative and quantitative, of how a lake ecosystem would be affected by changes in the lake temperature and mixing conditions due to changes in the atmospheric forcing. Below, the study of shallow lakes’ response to climatic changes using the coupled FLake–FLakeEco modelling system is presented. The results obtained reveal the extreme vulnerability of the lakes’ ecosystems to changes in atmospheric forcing. In ‘future’ climate the permanent existence of potentially dangerous anaerobic zones in shallow lakes is expected. The projected decreased oxygen concentrations are caused by: (1) the reduced oxygen flux from the atmosphere to the lakes due to increased temperature; and (2) strengthened density stratification of the water columns which would prevent aeration of the near-bottom layers.

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Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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