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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2020-51
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2020-51
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  24 Jul 2020

24 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESD.

The response of small and shallow lakes to climate change: new insights from hindcast modelling

Francesco Piccioni1, Céline Casenave2, Bruno Jacques Lemaire1,3, Patrick Le Moigne4, Philippe Dubois1, and Brigitte Vinçon-Leite1 Francesco Piccioni et al.
  • 1LEESU, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Univ. Paris Est Créteil, Marne-la-Vallée, France
  • 2MISTEA, Université Montpellier, INRAE, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France
  • 3AgroParisTech, Paris, France
  • 4CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France

Abstract. Small and shallow water bodies are a dominant portion of inland freshwaters. However, the effects of climate change on such ecosystems have rarely been quantitatively adressed. We propose a methodology to evaluate the thermal response of a small and shallow lake to long-term changes in the meteorological conditions, through model simulations. To do so, a 3D hydrodynamic model is forced with meteorological data and used to hindcast the evolution of a urban lake in the Paris region between 1960 and 2017. Its thermal response is analyzed through the definition of a series of indices describing its thermal regime in terms of water temperature, thermal stratification and tendency to biomass production. Model results and meteorological forcing are analyzed over time to test the presence of monotonic trends and 3D simulations are exploited to highlight spatial patterns in the dynamics of stratification. The thermal regime of the study site underwent significant changes. Its response was highly correlated with three meteorological variables: air temperature, solar radiation and wind speed. Mean annual water temperature showed a considerable warming trend of 0.6 °C/dec, accompanied by longer stratification and by an increase of thermal energy available for biomass production. Water warming was significant during all four seasons, with maxima in Spring and Summer, while stratification and energy for phytoplankton growth increased especially during Spring and Autumn. Stratification only established in the deeper areas of the water body, possibly inducing heterogeneity in the release of nutrient from the sediment and in the development of harmful algal blooms. Numerous similar ecosystems might be experiencing analogous changes, and appropriate management policies are needed to preserve their ecological value.

Francesco Piccioni et al.

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Francesco Piccioni et al.

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Short summary
Small lakes are a dominant portion of inland freshwaters, but their response to climate change is rarely addressed. The thermal regime of a small and shallow lake was evaluated over a 6-decade period through hydrodynamic modelling. Significant changes were found: maximum water warming in Spring and Summer (0.7 °C/dec), increased stratification and energy for phytoplankton growth during Spring and Autumn. Such changes, must be considered for appropriate management policies of similar ecosystems.
Small lakes are a dominant portion of inland freshwaters, but their response to climate change...
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