Questions for “Changing climate now threatens northern lakes year round”

One of the study authors snapped this picture of a lake near Toronto. If climate warming continues at current rates, this lake’s winter blanket of snow and ice may become a thing of the past, her team’s analysis suggests.

Sapna Sharma/York University

To accompany “Changing climate now threatens northern lakes year round


Before Reading:

1.  What difference do you think it makes if northern lakes didn’t freeze over during winter? Who or what would likely be impacted the most? Explain your assessment.

During Reading:

1.  Alessandro Filazzola’s team reviewed freeze-and-thaw records for how many lakes and over how long a period of time?

2.  These researchers put their data into a computer model to analyze what? The model’s findings concluded that how many lakes might lose permanent winter ice cover? When might such changes start to emerge?

3.  According to the story, how is lake ice cover like a cocoon? What are two things that such a “cocooning” achieves?

4.  When lake species become stressed, how are their options different than for species living in the ocean or on land?

5.  R. Iestyn Woolway and his team also used a computer model. What did they calculate with it?

6.  How much do they think summer water temperatures may change in the next eight decades? How do they predict summer heatwaves will change?

After Reading:

1.  The studies described in this story looked at lake changes in summer and in winter. Which season’s changes do you think might be more important to lake life? Explain your reasoning.

2.  People also depend on lake water as an important resource. Find a major lake near you and do some research. What do people use that lake for? What would be lost if its aquatic life changed (or disappeared), or if the lake’s water level dropped due to excessive evaporation?