Article

Latitude and lake size are important predictors of over-lake atmospheric stability: Atmospheric Stability Above Lakes

Citation

Woolway RI, Verburg P, Merchant CJ, Lenters JD, Hamilton DP, Brookes J, Kelly S, Hook S, Laas A, Pierson D, Rimmer A, Rusak JA & Jones ID (2017) Latitude and lake size are important predictors of over-lake atmospheric stability: Atmospheric Stability Above Lakes. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (17), pp. 8875-8883. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017gl073941

Abstract
Turbulent fluxes across the air‐water interface are integral to determining lake heat budgets, evaporation, and carbon emissions from lakes. The stability of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) influences the exchange of turbulent energy. We explore the differences in over‐lake ABL stability using data from 39 globally distributed lakes. The frequency of unstable ABL conditions varied between lakes from 71 to 100% of the time, with average air temperatures typically several degrees below the average lake surface temperature. This difference increased with decreasing latitude, resulting in a more frequently unstable ABL and a more efficient energy transfer to and from the atmosphere, toward the tropics. In addition, during summer the frequency of unstable ABL conditions decreased with increasing lake surface area. The dependency of ABL stability on latitude and lake size has implications for heat loss and carbon fluxes from lakes, the hydrologic cycle, and climate change effects.

Keywords
lake; atmosphere

Journal
Geophysical Research Letters: Volume 44, Issue 17

StatusPublished
FundersHorizon 2020, Haridus- ja Teadusministeerium, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research and National Science Foundation (NSF) Arctic Observing Network
Publication date16/09/2017
Publication date online05/09/2017
Date accepted by journal04/08/2017
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/29465
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU)
ISSN0094-8276