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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2004

Nonlinear temperature response of lake ice breakup

Gesa A. Weyhenmeyer, Markus Meili, and David M. Livingstone


A uniquely comprehensive set of four decades of ice breakup data from 196 Swedish lakes covering 13degrees of latitude (55.7degrees N to 68.4degrees N) shows the relationship between the timing of lake ice breakup and air temperature to be an arc cosine function. The nonlinearity inherent in this relationship results in marked differences in the response of the timing of lake ice breakup to changes in air temperature between colder and warmer geographical regions, and between colder and warmer time periods. The spatial and temporal patterns are mutually consistent, suggesting that climate change impacts on the timing of lake ice breakup will vary along a temperature gradient. This has potentially important ramifications for the employment of lake ice phenologies as climate indicators and for the future behavior of lacustrine ecosystems

Published in

Geophysical Research Letters
2004, volume: 31, number: 7, article number: L07203

Authors' information

Weyhenmeyer, Gesa
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Environmental Assessment
Meili, Marcus (Meili, Marcus)
Stockholm University
Livingstone, David M.
Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Fish and Aquacultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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