The Lakes Climate Change Initiative Project (Lakes_cci) is part of the European Space Agency's Climate Change Initiative Programme to produce long term datasets of Essential Climate Variables (ECV's) derived from global satellite data..
Lakes are of significant interest to the scientific community, local to national governments, industries and the wider public. A range of scientific disciplines including hydrology, limnology, climatology, biogeochemistry and geodesy are interested in distribution and functioning of the millions of lakes (from small ponds to inland seas), from the local to the global scale. Remote sensing provides an opportunity to extend the spatio-temporal scale of lake observation. In this context, the Lakes_cci develops products for the following five thematic climate variables:
• Lake Water Level (LWL): a proxy fundamental to understand the balance between water inputs and water loss and their connection with regional and global climate changes.
• Lake Water Extent (LWE): a proxy for change in glacial regions (lake expansion) and drought in many arid environments, water extent relates to local climate for the cooling effect that water bodies provide.
• Lake Surface Water temperature (LSWT): correlated with regional air temperatures and a proxy for mixing regimes, driving biogeochemical cycling and seasonality.
• Lake Ice Cover (LIC): freeze-up in autumn and advancing break-up in spring are proxies for gradually changing climate patterns and seasonality.
• Lake Water-Leaving Reflectance (LWLR): a direct indicator of biogeochemical processes and habitats in the visible part of the water column (e.g. seasonal phytoplankton biomass fluctuations), and an indicator of the frequency of extreme events (peak terrestrial run-off, changing mixing conditions).
In this context, Lakes_cci represents a unique framework to provide consistent and homogenous data to the multiple communities of lake scientists. The project actively engages with this community to assess the utility and future improvement of Lakes_cci products.