In den Tiefen des Baikalsees verbergen sich noch viele Geheimnisse. Dank langjährigen Beobachtungen konnten einige davon aufgeklärt werden.
Die Komplexität des Kivusees und das im Tiefenwasser gespeicherte Methan könnte ein ganzes Forschungsinstitut beschäftigen.
Die Veränderung des Klimas wirkt sich auch auf die Seen aus. Wir untersuchen die Zusammenhänge in diesem komplexen System mit der Analyse von globale Daten und mit lokalen Fallstudien.
Wir untersuchen die Auswirkungen von Wasserkraftwerken auf Oberflächengewässer, um eine nachhaltige Nutzung dieser Ressource zu fördern.
Seen sind grosse Wärmespeicher. Inwiefern kann diese Wärme genutzt werden, um den Verbrauch von Brennstoffen und Elektrizität zum Heizen oder Kühlen zu vermindern?
What happens if two lakes are connected by a pumped-storage system?
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Combined effects of pumped-storage operation and climate change on thermal structure and water quality
The assessment of ecological impacts of pumped-storage (PS) hydropower plants on the two connected water bodies is usually based on present climatic conditions. However, significant changes in climate must be expected during their long concession periods. We, therefore, investigate the combined effects of climate change and PS operations on water temperature and quality, as well as extent and duration of stratification and ice cover, using a site in Switzerland. For this purpose, a coupled two-dimensional hydrodynamic and water quality model for the two connected water bodies is run with 150 years long synthetic stochastic meteorological forcing for both current and future climate conditions under two PS and two reference scenarios. The results show relevant synergistic and antagonistic effects of PS operations and climate change. For example, hypolimnion temperatures in September are projected to increase by < 0.6 °C in a near-natural reference scenario and by ~ 2.5 °C in an extended PS scenario. Ice cover, which occurs every year under near-natural conditions in the current climate, would almost completely vanish with extended PS operation in the future climate. Conversely, the expected negative impacts of climate change on hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen concentrations are partially counteracted by extended PS operations. We, therefore, recommend considering future climate conditions for the environmental impact assessment in the planning of new or the recommissioning of existing PS hydropower plants.
Impacts of using lakes and rivers for extraction and disposal of heat
The extraction and disposal of heat from lakes and rivers is a large yet scarcely exploited source of renewable energy, which can partly replace fossil fuel heating and electrical cooling systems. Its use is expected to increase in the near future, which brings attention to the impacts of discharging thermally altered water into aquatic systems. Our review indicates that thermal discharge affects physical and ecological processes, with impacts recorded at all levels of biological organization. Many in situ studies found local effects of thermal discharge (such as attraction or
avoidance of mobile organisms), while impacts at the scale of the whole water body were rarely detected. In complex systems, diffuse impacts of thermal discharge are difficult to disentangle from natural variability or other anthropogenic influences. Discharge of warm water in summer is likely to be most critical, especially in the context of climate change. Under this scenario, water temperatures may reach maxima that negatively affect some species. Given the diversity and complexity of the impacts of thermal pollution on aquatic systems, careful planning
and judicious management is required when using lakes and rivers for extraction and disposal of heat. We discuss the drivers that influence the severity of potential impacts of such thermal use, and the options available to avoid or mitigate these impacts (such as adapting the operating conditions).
Gaudard, A.; Weber, C.; Alexander, T. J.; Hunziker, S.; Schmid, M. (2018) Impacts of using lakes and rivers for extraction and disposal of heat, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 5(5), e1295 (18 pp.), doi:10.1002/wat2.1295, Institutional Repository
Excess warming of a Central European lake driven by solar brightening
Recent trends in summer surface temperatures of many lakes exceed the corresponding air temperature trends. This disagrees with expectations from lake surface heat budgets, which predict that lake surface temperatures should increase by 75–90% of the increase in air temperatures. Here we investigate the causes for this excess warming for Lower Lake Zurich, a representative deep and stratified Central European lake, by a combined data analysis and modeling approach. Lake temperatures are simulated using a one-dimensional vertical model driven by 33 years of homogenized meteorological data. The model is calibrated and validated using an equally long time series of monthly water temperature profiles. The effects of individual forcing parameters are investigated by scenarios where the trends of single variables are retained while those of all other forcing variables are removed. The results show that ∼60% of the observed warming of spring and summer lake surface temperatures were caused by increased air temperature and ∼40% by increased solar radiation. The effects of the trends of all other forcing variables were small. Following projections of climate models, the increasing trends in solar radiation, and consequently the excess warming of lake surface temperatures, are not likely to continue in the future.
Lake surface temperatures in a changing climate: a global sensitivity analysis
We estimate the effects of climatic changes, as predicted by six climate models, on lake surface temperatures on a global scale, using the lake surface equilibrium temperature as a proxy. We evaluate interactions between different forcing variables, the sensitivity of lake surface temperatures to these variables, as well as differences between climate zones. Lake surface equilibrium temperatures are predicted to increase by 70 to 85 % of the increase in air temperatures. On average, air temperature is the main driver for changes in lake surface temperatures, and its effect is reduced by ~10 % by changes in other meteorological variables. However, the contribution of these other variables to the variance is ~40 % of that of air temperature, and their effects can be important at specific locations. The warming increases the importance of longwave radiation and evaporation for the lake surface heat balance compared to shortwave radiation and convective heat fluxes. We discuss the consequences of our findings for the design and evaluation of different types of studies on climate change effects on lakes.
Sources and sinks of methane in Lake Baikal: a synthesis of measurements and modeling
We studied the methane (CH4) budget of Lake Baikal, the most voluminous lake in the world and the only freshwater body with known occurrences of methane hydrates in the sediments. CH4 concentrations were measured in water samples taken during six expeditions between October 2002 and June 2004; these expeditions covered the entire lake volume. A one-dimensional model was applied to (1) estimate the large-scale vertical CH4 fluxes within the South Basin of Lake Baikal, (2) determine the exchange with the atmosphere, and (3) constrain the CH4 inputs from seeps and mud volcanoes to the deep water. Fluxes were generally several orders of magnitude below previous estimates. The annual internal source of CH4 to the pelagic surface mixed layer was roughly estimated to be 40 Mg CH4. A large part of this input diffuses downwards and is consumed in the water column, with a CH4 residence time of about 4 yr. The input of CH4 from deep gas seeps and mud volcanoes is less than a few 10 Mg CH4 yr-1, most of which is oxidized before reaching the surface. The net CH4 flux between the atmosphere and the main waterbody distant from shallow areas is negligible and not significantly different from zero. However, occasional high CH4 concentrations, both in the surface water and in the atmosphere, indicate that the region near the Selenga delta is a local CH4 source to the atmosphere. CH4 fluxes in the Central Basin are very similar to those in the South Basin, whereas in the North Basin, the shallow CH4 sources are weaker.
Schmid, M.; De Batist, M.; Granin, N. G.; Kapitanov, V. A.; McGinnis, D. F.; Mizandrontsev, I. B.; Obzhirov, A. I.; Wüest, A. (2007) Sources and sinks of methane in Lake Baikal: a synthesis of measurements and modeling, Limnology and Oceanography, 52(5), 1824-1837, doi:10.4319/lo.2007.52.5.1824, Institutional Repository
Weak mixing in Lake Kivu: new insights indicate increasing risk of uncontrolled gas eruption
The deep waters of the East African Rift Lake Kivu contain large amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide and methane. The release of a fraction of these gases, which could be triggered by a magma eruption within the lake, would have catastrophic consequences for the two million people living on its shore. Up to now the safety assessment of the lake was based on the assumption that the gas concentrations in the deep waters are in a steady state with a residence time of 400 years. Turbulent transport was regarded as the main pathway of vertical exchange. Recent measurements and the analysis of the vertical transport processes in the lake radically change this evaluation. The vertical turbulent exchange is negligible, as documented by a spectacular set of several hundred double-diffusive layers. Gases are mainly transported out of the deep zones by a slow upwelling with a residence time of 800-1000 years. Our results indicate that the methane production within the sediment has recently increased, leading to a gas accumulation in the deep waters and consequently decreasing the heat input needed to trigger a devastating gas release. With the estimated current CH4 production, the gas concentrations could approach saturation within this century.
Schmid, M.; Halbwachs, M.; Wehrli, B.; Wüest, A. (2005) Weak mixing in Lake Kivu: new insights indicate increasing risk of uncontrolled gas eruption, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 6(7), Q07009 (11 pp.), doi:10.1029/2004GC000892, Institutional Repository