Lake Superior summer water temperatures are increasing more rapidly than regional temperatures: A positive ice-albedo feedback

Jay A Austin, Steven M. Colman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

295 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lake Superior summer (July - September) surface water temperatures have increased approximately 2.5°C over the interval 1979-2006, equivalent to a rate of (11 ± 6) × 10-2°C yr-1, significantly in excess of regional atmospheric warming. This discrepancy is caused by declining winter ice cover, which is causing the onset of the positively stratified season to occur earlier at a rate of roughly a half day per year. An earlier start of the stratified season significantly increases the period over which the lake warms during the summer months, leading to a stronger trend in mean summer temperatures than would be expected from changes in summer air temperature alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL06604
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 2007

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