Get out your almanacs. Discovery has an article about how “climate change is warming lakes even faster than the atmosphere or oceans, and it could pose a significant future threat to the habitats for fish and other aquatic animals, as well as drinking water for millions of people.”
They cite a new study, “published in Geophysical Research Letters, (that) shows that lakes are warming at an average of 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit each decade. Over the next century, it could be enough to increase algal blooms by 20 percent, including a 5 percent boost in toxic blooms.”
The study focused upon 236 lakes, which contain more than half of the world’s freshwater supply. They were monitored over a 25-year period.
What’s most interesting to me about this study is that it introduces a metric that is fairly easy to measure, has a long history and is easily comprehended.
Lakes in the Northern Hemisphere freeze over in the winter and melt in the spring. By measuring the dates when those two events occur, we can get an idea about warming (assuming you factor in the normal cycle of precession of the seasons).
Temperatures can be measured. Counts of wildfowl and fish can be done. Heck, most of this is already being done.
We already know that whatever global warming there is, is felt most strongly in the Northern Hemisphere. But rather than do gross guesstimates of ice extent and volume in the Arctic or gravity mismeasurements of the Greenland Ice Cap, here is an opportunity to monitor something well within our grasp.
It might be more useful.