Heatwaves, Rising Air Temperatures and Warm Arctic Proglacial Lakes in the ASTER Surface Temperature Product

Adrian Dye, Bryant Rob, Emma Dodd, Francesca Falcini, David Rippin

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Despite an increase in heatwaves and rising air temperatures in the Arctic, little research has been conducted into the temperatures of proglacial lakes in the region. An assumption persists that they are cold and uniformly feature a temperature of 1 °C. This is important to test, given the rising air temperatures in the region (reported in this study) and potential to increase water temperatures, thus increasing subaqueous melting and the retreat of glacier termini from where they are in contact with lakes. Through analysis of ASTER surface temperature product data, we report warm (>4 °C) proglacial lake surface water temperatures (LSWT) for both ice-contact and non-ice-contact lakes, as well as substantial spatial heterogeneity. We present in situ validation data (from problematic maritime areas) and a workflow that facilitates the extraction of robust LSWT data from the high-resolution (90 m) ASTER surface temperature product (AST08). This enables spatial patterns to be analysed in conjunction with surrounding thermal influences, such as parent glaciers and topographies. This workflow can be utilised for the analysis of the LSWT data of other small lakes and crucially allows high spatial resolution study of how they have responded to changes in climate. Further study of the LSWT is essential in the Arctic given the amplification of climate change across the region.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2987
Number of pages21
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2021

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