Lessons learned from the Ice Age: Mountain lakes react to climate change in their ecology

Lakes in alpine locations react sensitively to climate change. Researchers led by the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), and the Faculty of Geosciences at Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China, have analyzed in detail the changes in a lake in the northern Tibetan highlands since the end of the last ice age. Sediment samples dating back thousands of years show strong ecological changes due to rising temperatures and the influence of melting glaciers. This was already true at the end of the last ice age, as well as in the middle of the Holocene epoch, and could also become relevant today in the course of climate change. The study, published in Communications Earth & Environment, also shows that the changes can occur with a time lag.

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