Research Spotlight: Satellite data show inland water bodies warming


  • Mohi Kumar,

  • Ernie Tretkoff


Many studies of global climate have used air temperature measurements to characterize recent warming trends. A new study shows that inland water bodies such as lakes have also been warming steadily in recent decades.

Schneider and Hook analyzed satellite nighttime thermal infrared imagery of 167 large inland water bodies around the world during the period 1985–2009. They found that mean nighttime surface water temperature for these inland water bodies has been rising at an average rate of about 0.045°C per year, with rates as high as 0.1°C per year in some places.