Lakes in Rocky Mountain NP Warming Faster Than Oceans, Report Says

December 21, 2015

A survey of some lakes in Colorado -- and across the world -- shows they’re warming faster compared to oceans or the air around them.

Scientists compiled data from 235 lakes, including two in Rocky Mountain National Park. Summer air and lake temperatures have been rising over the last decade in the park, said Jill Baron, a research ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.

“These are some of the highest lakes in the world that were part of this study. And they’re behaving just like all the others," said Baron, who was a co-author on the research.

Warming lakes could pose threats to the ecosystem and freshwater supply, Baron said. Algae blooms will increase by 20 percent over the next century, the report predicts. Algae can rob water of oxygen, which has the potential to kill fish.

The research appears in this month’s Geophysical Research Letters.