As average air temperatures rise, so do the average water temperatures of our oceans, lakes and rivers, affecting ecosystems and species that depend on them.
Rising air temperature are absorbed by water bodies, leading to increasing water temperatures. In general as air temperatures increase water temperature will generally rise in streams, lakes, and reservoirs. This tends to lead to lower levels of dissolved oxygen in water, hence more stress on the fish, insects, crustaceans and other aquatic animals that rely on oxygen, and potentially causing increases in harmful algae blooms. These impacts are expected to cause greater disruption to ecosystems and the communities they support as temperatures continue to increase.
Learn more about how increasing warming temperatures impact ecosystems and species from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's recorded workshop series: Understanding and Adapting To Climate Change in Aquatic Ecosystems at Landscape and River Basin Scales: A decision support workshop for integrating research and management. Watch and listen to a USFWS presentation from this workshop series on Stream Temperatures & Climate Change: Observed Patterns & Key Uncertainties here.
Land trusts are working in a variety of ways to build resilience. Learn more.