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  1. Abstract

    Reductions in ice cover duration and earlier ice breakup are two of the most prevalent responses to climate warming in lakes in recent decades. In dimictic lakes, the subsequent periods of spring mixing and summer stratification are both likely to change in response to these phenological changes in ice cover. Here, we used a modeling approach to simulate the effect of changes in latitude on long‐term trends in duration of ice cover, spring mixing, and summer stratification by “moving” a well‐studied lake across a range of latitudes in North America (35.2°N to 65.7°N). We found a changepoint relationship between the timing of ice breakup vs. spring mixing duration on 09 May. When ice breakup occurred before 09 May, which routinely occurred at latitudes < 47°N, spring mixing was longer and more variable; when ice breakup occurred after 09 May at latitudes > 47°N, spring mixing averaged 1 day with low variability. In contrast, the duration of summer stratification showed a relatively slower rate of increase when ice breakup occurred before 09 May (< 47°N) compared to a 109% faster rate of increase when ice breakup was after 09 May (> 47°N). Projected earlier ice breakup can result in important nonlinear changes in the relative duration of spring mixing and summer stratification, which can lead to mixing regime shifts that influence the severity of oxygen depletion differentially across latitudes.

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  2. Abstract

    Wildfire smoke often covers areas larger than the burned area, yet the impacts of smoke on nearby aquatic ecosystems are understudied. In the summer of 2018, wildfire smoke covered Castle Lake (California, USA) for 55 days. We quantified the influence of smoke on the lake by comparing the physics, chemistry, productivity, and animal ecology in the prior four years (2014–2017) to the smoke year (2018). Smoke reduced incident ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation by 31% and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) by 11%. Similarly, underwater UV-B and PAR decreased by 65 and 44%, respectively, and lake heat content decreased by 7%. While the nutrient limitation of primary production did not change, shallow production in the offshore habitat increased by 109%, likely due to a release from photoinhibition. In contrast, deep-water, primary production decreased and the deep-water peak in chlorophylladid not develop, likely due to reduced PAR. Despite the structural changes in primary production, light, and temperature, we observed little significant change in zooplankton biomass, community composition, or migration pattern. Trout were absent from the littoral-benthic habitat during the smoke period. The duration and intensity of smoke influences light regimes, heat content, and productivity, with differing responses to consumers.

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  3. Abstract

    Climate change is altering conditions in high‐elevation streams worldwide, with largely unknown effects on resident communities of aquatic insects. Here, we review the challenges of climate change for high‐elevation aquatic insects and how they may respond, focusing on current gaps in knowledge. Understanding current effects and predicting future impacts will depend on progress in three areas. First, we need better descriptions of the multivariate physical challenges and interactions among challenges in high‐elevation streams, which include low but rising temperatures, low oxygen supply and increasing oxygen demand, high and rising exposure to ultraviolet radiation, low ionic strength, and variable but shifting flow regimes. These factors are often studied in isolation even though they covary in nature and interact in space and time. Second, we need a better mechanistic understanding of how physical conditions in streams drive the performance of individual insects. Environment‐performance links are mediated by physiology and behavior, which are poorly known in high‐elevation taxa. Third, we need to define the scope and importance of potential responses across levels of biological organization. Short‐term responses are defined by the tolerances of individuals, their capacities to perform adequately across a range of conditions, and behaviors used to exploit local, fine‐scale variation in abiotic factors. Longer term responses to climate change, however, may include individual plasticity and evolution of populations. Whether high‐elevation aquatic insects can mitigate climatic risks via these pathways is largely unknown.

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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

    Alpine regions are changing rapidly due to loss of snow and ice in response to ongoing climate change. While studies have documented ecological responses in alpine lakes and streams to these changes, our ability to predict such outcomes is limited. We propose that the application of fundamental rules of life can help develop necessary predictive frameworks. We focus on four key rules of life and their interactions: the temperature dependence of biotic processes from enzymes to evolution; the wavelength dependence of the effects of solar radiation on biological and ecological processes; the ramifications of the non‐arbitrary elemental stoichiometry of life; and maximization of limiting resource use efficiency across scales. As the cryosphere melts and thaws, alpine lakes and streams will experience major changes in temperature regimes, absolute and relative inputs of solar radiation in ultraviolet and photosynthetically active radiation, and relative supplies of resources (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus), leading to nonlinear and interactive effects on particular biota, as well as on community and ecosystem properties. We propose that applying these key rules of life to cryosphere‐influenced ecosystems will reduce uncertainties about the impacts of global change and help develop an integrated global view of rapidly changing alpine environments. However, doing so will require intensive interdisciplinary collaboration and international cooperation. More broadly, the alpine cryosphere is an example of a system where improving our understanding of mechanistic underpinnings of living systems might transform our ability to predict and mitigate the impacts of ongoing global change across the daunting scope of diversity in Earth's biota and environments.

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  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  8. Abstract The Environmental Effects Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol under the United Nations Environment Programme evaluates effects on the environment and human health that arise from changes in the stratospheric ozone layer and concomitant variations in ultraviolet (UV) radiation at the Earth’s surface. The current update is based on scientific advances that have accumulated since our last assessment (Photochem and Photobiol Sci 20(1):1–67, 2021). We also discuss how climate change affects stratospheric ozone depletion and ultraviolet radiation, and how stratospheric ozone depletion affects climate change. The resulting interlinking effects of stratospheric ozone depletion, UV radiation, and climate change are assessed in terms of air quality, carbon sinks, ecosystems, human health, and natural and synthetic materials. We further highlight potential impacts on the biosphere from extreme climate events that are occurring with increasing frequency as a consequence of climate change. These and other interactive effects are examined with respect to the benefits that the Montreal Protocol and its Amendments are providing to life on Earth by controlling the production of various substances that contribute to both stratospheric ozone depletion and climate change. 
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  9. 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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  10. null (Ed.)