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  1. Abstract One of the most important physical characteristics driving lifecycle events in lakes is stratification. Already subtle variations in the timing of stratification onset and break-up (phenology) are known to have major ecological effects, mainly by determining the availability of light, nutrients, carbon and oxygen to organisms. Despite its ecological importance, historic and future global changes in stratification phenology are unknown. Here, we used a lake-climate model ensemble and long-term observational data, to investigate changes in lake stratification phenology across the Northern Hemisphere from 1901 to 2099. Under the high-greenhouse-gas-emission scenario, stratification will begin 22.0 ± 7.0 days earlier and end 11.3 ± 4.7 days later by the end of this century. It is very likely that this 33.3 ± 11.7 day prolongation in stratification will accelerate lake deoxygenation with subsequent effects on nutrient mineralization and phosphorus release from lake sediments. Further misalignment of lifecycle events, with possible irreversible changes for lake ecosystems, is also likely. 
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  2. Abstract Climate change and other anthropogenic stressors have led to long-term changes in the thermal structure, including surface temperatures, deepwater temperatures, and vertical thermal gradients, in many lakes around the world. Though many studies highlight warming of surface water temperatures in lakes worldwide, less is known about long-term trends in full vertical thermal structure and deepwater temperatures, which have been changing less consistently in both direction and magnitude. Here, we present a globally-expansive data set of summertime in-situ vertical temperature profiles from 153 lakes, with one time series beginning as early as 1894. We also compiled lake geographic, morphometric, and water quality variables that can influence vertical thermal structure through a variety of potential mechanisms in these lakes. These long-term time series of vertical temperature profiles and corresponding lake characteristics serve as valuable data to help understand changes and drivers of lake thermal structure in a time of rapid global and ecological change. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Globally, lake surface water temperatures have warmed rapidly relative to air temperatures, but changes in deepwater temperatures and vertical thermal structure are still largely unknown. We have compiled the most comprehensive data set to date of long-term (1970–2009) summertime vertical temperature profiles in lakes across the world to examine trends and drivers of whole-lake vertical thermal structure. We found significant increases in surface water temperatures across lakes at an average rate of + 0.37 °C decade −1 , comparable to changes reported previously for other lakes, and similarly consistent trends of increasing water column stability (+ 0.08 kg m −3 decade −1 ). In contrast, however, deepwater temperature trends showed little change on average (+ 0.06 °C decade −1 ), but had high variability across lakes, with trends in individual lakes ranging from − 0.68 °C decade −1 to + 0.65 °C decade −1 . The variability in deepwater temperature trends was not explained by trends in either surface water temperatures or thermal stability within lakes, and only 8.4% was explained by lake thermal region or local lake characteristics in a random forest analysis. These findings suggest that external drivers beyond our tested lake characteristics are important in explaining long-term trends in thermal structure, such as local to regional climate patterns or additional external anthropogenic influences. 
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  4. Abstract

    Lakes are traditionally classified based on their thermal regime and trophic status. While this classification adequately captures many lakes, it is not sufficient to understand seasonally ice‐covered lakes, the most common lake type on Earth. We describe the inverse thermal stratification in 19 highly varying lakes and derive a model that predicts the temperature profile as a function of wind stress, area, and depth. The results suggest an additional subdivision of seasonally ice‐covered lakes to differentiate underice stratification. When ice forms in smaller and deeper lakes, inverse stratification will form with a thin buoyant layer of cold water (near 0°C) below the ice, which remains above a deeper 4°C layer. In contrast, the entire water column can cool to ∼0°C in larger and shallower lakes. We suggest these alternative conditions for dimictic lakes be termed “cryostratified” and “cryomictic.”

     
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  5. Abstract

    The intensity and frequency of storms are projected to increase in many regions of the world because of climate change. Storms can alter environmental conditions in many ecosystems. In lakes and reservoirs, storms can reduce epilimnetic temperatures from wind‐induced mixing with colder hypolimnetic waters, direct precipitation to the lake's surface, and watershed runoff. We analyzed 18 long‐term and high‐frequency lake datasets from 11 countries to assess the magnitude of wind‐ vs. rainstorm‐induced changes in epilimnetic temperature. We found small day‐to‐day epilimnetic temperature decreases in response to strong wind and heavy rain during stratified conditions. Day‐to‐day epilimnetic temperature decreased, on average, by 0.28°C during the strongest windstorms (storm mean daily wind speed among lakes: 6.7 ± 2.7 m s−1, 1 SD) and by 0.15°C after the heaviest rainstorms (storm mean daily rainfall: 21.3 ± 9.0 mm). The largest decreases in epilimnetic temperature were observed ≥2 d after sustained strong wind or heavy rain (top 5thpercentile of wind and rain events for each lake) in shallow and medium‐depth lakes. The smallest decreases occurred in deep lakes. Epilimnetic temperature change from windstorms, but not rainstorms, was negatively correlated with maximum lake depth. However, even the largest storm‐induced mean epilimnetic temperature decreases were typically <2°C. Day‐to‐day temperature change, in the absence of storms, often exceeded storm‐induced temperature changes. Because storm‐induced temperature changes to lake surface waters were minimal, changes in other limnological variables (e.g., nutrient concentrations or light) from storms may have larger impacts on biological communities than temperature changes.

     
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