21 Jun 2024, 11:45
Jennifer Collins

Lake Constance getting warmer – research


Temperatures in Lake Constance, located in the border triangle of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, are rising, with harmful consequences for fish and plants living there, reports news agency dpa. In 2022, average water surface temperatures reached a record 14.1 degrees Celsius. Last year, the average was around 13.6°C. Researchers from Seeforschungsinstitut Langenargen at Baden-Württemberg's state environment office have been monitoring the water body since 1962, when the average temperature was 10.5C.  

An expert from the institute told dpa that warming has weakened the exchange of deep and surface water at the lake, risking lower oxygen levels and affecting the transport of nutrients, which in turn affects the food web. Researchers are analysing the impacts of climate change at Lake Constance as part of a three-year project, and say that higher temperatures are having a negative influence on fish, including burbot, whose eggs need water colder than 5°C to develop properly. White fish will also no longer be able to swim in their "hunting grounds" on the water surface due to excessively high temperatures. Such conditions will also lead to lower fishing catches, the experts said.  

In 2019, Constance, a German city on the lake, became the first in the country to declare a "climate emergency."

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