A local researcher will discuss the impacts of climate change on lakes...both small and large... at Nicolet College in Rhinelander this week.
The "Our Changing World" presentation will be given by John Lenters, honorary fellow at the UW-Madison Center for Limnology.
Lenters works at the Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction. Lenters' research focuses on the affect of climate change on lake temperature. He also will summarize a global study they did on lakes around the world and how much they are warming. While a global study, he says he does present information on Lake Superior and Sparkling Lake near Boulder Junction.
He says there are interesting effects of climate on lake temperature that are often misunderstood...
"....the fact you can have warming temperatures in the summertime but lake temperatures are warming faster than the air temperature because of changes that were happening earlier in the season. Lakes are interesting in that they stratify, You get a warm layer on top of a cold layer. When that happens eventually affects the summer temperatures, What happens in the wintertime,especially on deep lakes, can have a big impact on summer water temperatures despite what the weather might be doing in the summer...."
Lenters says how strong that stratification is in a lake affects the 'mixing' of the temperature layers in the water....
"....how strong that stratification is affects the mixing in the lake, and getting oxygen down to the lower levels. The thermal habitat that fish occupy in a lake can change so it can have quite a wide ranging effect on the lake ecosystem...."
"Our Changing World" presentation with John Lenters will be Wednesday, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Nicolet College theatre. The presentation is free and open to the public.