- This event has passed.
Physics Colloquium Series: Professor Catherine O’Reilly
(Physics Lecture Series) Illinois State University, Department of Geography-Geology
“The physics of warming in lakes drives critical environmental changes around the world”
Water temperatures are a defining property of lake environments. Temperature-dependent density gradients influence the physical, chemical and biological properties of lakes. Thus, climate warming has the potential to have a substantial influence on how lakes function. Other changes in lakes, such as loss of ice cover, will also have large impacts. We have found that lakes are warming around the world, in many cases faster than air temperatures. Lakes in north America and Europe had the greatest warming rates, likely because of global brightening and dimming patterns. Continued warming will lead to a range of consequences depending upon lake type and location, including decreases in water quality and fish catches.