Wisconsin’s freshwater ecosystems face change due to shorter, unpredictable winters, expert says

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UW professor explains impacts of climate change and warming winters on freshwater lakes

Associate professor at the University of Wisconsin Center for Limnology Hilary Dugan shared research Tuesday on the effect of changing winters and climate change on lake ecology at Overture Center for the Arts.

All seasons and regions of Wisconsin are becoming warmer and wetter, with winters warming more rapidly than summers, according to the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impact.

Yet, there is a lack of scientific observations about winter influences on lake dynamics, Dugan said. Generally, lake temperatures are measured by buoys, but since they are powered by solar panels, the snow and ice restrict winter research attempts, Dugan said.