Global heat uptake by inland waters

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 4 of this Preprint.


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Inne Vanderkelen


Heat uptake is a key variable for understanding the Earth system response to greenhouse gas forcing. Despite the importance of this heat budget, heat uptake by inland waters has so far not been quanti?ed. Here we use a unique combination of global-scale lake models, global hydrological models and Earth system models to quantify global heat up take by natural lakes, reservoirs and rivers. The total net heat uptake by inland waters amounts to 2.8 +- 4.3x10^20 J over the period 1900-2020, corresponding to 3.1% of the energy stored on land. The overall uptake is dominated by natural lakes (126%), followed by reservoir warming (2.6%). Rivers contribute negatively (-28.7%) due to a decreasing water volume. The heat of the water volume stored in reservoirs exceeds inland water heat uptake by a factor of ~9.6. Our results underline the importance of inland waters for buffering atmospheric warming caused by enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations.



Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics



Published: 2020-04-12 13:27

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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