03 Jun 2022
03 Jun 2022

Past and future climate change effects on thermal regime and oxygen solubility of four peri-alpine lakes

Olivia Desgué-Itier1, Laura Melo Vieira Soares1, Orlane Anneville1, Damien Bouffard2, Vincent Chanudet3, Pierre-Alain Danis4,5, Isabelle Domaizon1, Jean Guillard1, Théo Mazure1, Najwa Sharaf4,5, Frédéric Soulignac6, Viet Tran-Khac1, Brigitte Vinçon-Leite7, and Jean-Philippe Jenny1 Olivia Desgué-Itier et al.
  • 1Université Savoie Mont Blanc, INRAE, CARRTEL, 74200 Thonon-les-Bains, France
  • 2Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Surface Waters – Research and Management, 6047 Kastanienbaum, Switzerland
  • 3EDF, Hydro Engineering Centre, Environment and Social Department, 73290 La Motte Servolex, France
  • 4Pôle R&D « Ecla », INRAE, 3275 Route Cézanne, 13182 Aix-en-Provence, France5Office Français de la Biodiversité, Unité « Ecla », INRAE, Aix-en-Provence, France
  • 5INRAE, Aix Marseille Univ, RECOVER, Team FRESHCO, 3275 Route Cézanne, 13182 Aix-en-Provence, France
  • 6CIPEL, International Commission for the protection of the waters of Lake Geneva, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland
  • 7Laboratoire Eau, Environnement, Systèmes Urbains (LEESU), École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Marne-la-Vallée, France

Abstract. Climate change modifies the thermal regime and the oxygen solubility of lakes globally, resulting in the alteration of ecosystem processes, lake habitats and concentrations of key parameters. The use of one-dimensional (1D) lake model for global scale studies has become the standard in lake research to evaluate the effects of climate change. However, such approach requires global scale forcing parameters which have several limitations that are barely discussed, such as the need of serious downscaling. Furthermore, projections of lakes' thermal regime are hardly ever confronted with long-term observations that extent for more than a few decades. These shortfalls limit the robustness of hindcast/ forecast simulations on decadal to centennial timescales. In this study, several 1D lake models' robustness was tested for long-term variations based on 63 years of limnological data collected by the French Observatory of LAkes (OLA). Here we evaluate the possibility to force mechanistic models by following the long-term evolution of shortwave radiation and air temperature while providing realistic seasonal trend for the other parameters for which local scale downscaling often lacks accuracy. Then, the effects of climate change on the thermal regime and oxygen solubility were analyzed in the four-largest French peri-Alpine lakes. Our results show that 1D lake models forced by air temperatures and short-wave radiations accurately predict variations in lake thermal regime over the last four to six decades, with RMSE <1.95 °C. During the last three decades, water temperatures have increased by 0.46 °C decade–1 (±0.02 °C) in the epilimnion and 0.33 °C decade–1 (±0.06 °C) in the hypolimnion. Concomitantly and due to thermal change, O2 solubility has decreased by -0.104 mg L–1 decade–1 (±0.005 mg L–1) and -0.096 mg L–1 decade–1 (±0.011 mg L–1) in the epilimnion and hypolimnion, respectively. Based on the ssp370 socio-economic pathway of the IPCC, perialpine lakes could face an increase of 3.80 °C (±0.20 °C) in the next 70 years, accompanied by a decline of 1.0 mg L–1 (±0.1 mg L–1) of O2 solubility. These results suggest important degradation in lake thermal and oxygen conditions and a loss of habitats for endemic species.

Olivia Desgué-Itier et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-260', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 Jul 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Olivia Desgué-Itier, 26 Sep 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-260', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Jul 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Olivia Desgué-Itier, 26 Sep 2022

Olivia Desgué-Itier et al.

Data sets

Simulated daily water temperature time series data (full water profile) for lakes Geneva, Annecy, Bourget and Aiguebelette over the period 1850-2100, based on IPCC ssp126, ssp370 and ssp585 scenarios Desgue, Olivia; Melo Vieira Soares, Laura; Anneville, Orlane; Bouffard, Damien; Chanudet, Vincent; Danis, Pierre-Alain; Domaizon, Isabelle; Guillard, Jean; Mazure, Théo; Sharaf, Najwa; Soulignac, Frédéric; Tran-Khac, Viet; Vinçon Leite, Brigitte; Jenny, Jean-Philippe

Olivia Desgué-Itier et al.


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Short summary
The long-term effects of climate change will include an increase in lake surface and deep water temperatures. Incorporating up to six decades of limnological monitoring into an improved 1D lake model approach allows us to predict thermal regime and oxygen solubility in four perialpine lakes over the period 1850–2100. Our modeling approach includes a revised selection of forcing variables and provides a way to investigate the impacts of climate variations on lakes for centennial timescales.