A new NASA study shows that lakes are warming rapidly, especially in mid and high latitudes of the northern hemisphere.
In Europe temperature data drawn from satellite measurements taken from 1985 to 2009 show a rate of warming as high as 1.72 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. In North America the warming rate was more than 1 degree Fahrenheit per decade.
Surface temperatures were extracted from nighttime thermal infrared imagery of 167 large inland water bodies distributed worldwide beginning in 1985 for the months July through September and January through March. Results indicate that the mean nighttime surface water temperature has been rapidly warming for the period 1985–2009 with an average rate of 0.045 ± 0.011°C yr−1 and rates as high as 0.10 ± 0.01°C yr−1. Worldwide the data show far greater warming in the mid- and high latitudes of the northern hemisphere than in low latitudes and the southern hemisphere. The analysis provides a new independent data source for assessing the impact of climate change throughout the world and indicates that water bodies in some regions warm faster than regional air temperature.