Climate Change Researchers Could Use This New Database On The World's Lakes

First Posted: Dec 17, 2016 03:20 AM EST

A new database on the world's 1.42 million lakes has been created for future studies.

Montreal Gazette reported that researchers at McGill University developed an exhaustive database of lakes around the world. Published in the journal Nature Communications, this wide range of data will make it easy for researchers on climate change and other scientists to dig in.

"Temperatures change, you have more or less evaporation, rainfall changes - you can start making predictions (about the fate of lakes) if you know where the lakes are, if you know how deep they are," senior author Bernhard Lehner, associate professor in McGill's geography department, said in a statement.

The researchers decided to map all of the world's lakes since nobody had measured the total volume of lake water before their study. After creating a global map of lakes for two years and estimating each of their depths for another year, the researchers found out that the world's lakes hold 180,000 cubic kilometers of water.

The team was able to come up with this scale by looking at and comparing the elevations that surround 12,000 lakes. According to the study, the largest fresh water lake on Earth is Lake Baikal in Russia with a size of 23,600 cubic kilometers. The biggest lake in Canada is Lake Superior, which measures up to 12,000 cubic kilometers. But since Lake Superior is shared with the U.S. border, the largest lake within the Canadian territory is the Great Bear Lake measuring up to 2,200 cubic kilometers.

Based on lake figures, 85 percent of Earth's lake water is found in 10 of the world's largest lakes. The total measurement of the world's lake shoreline is 7 million kilometers, and 90,000 of Canada's lakes -- the country that holds the most number of lakes in the world -- cover more than 10 hectares each.

More measurements are found in the database named "HydroLAKES," which is the latest and most precise mapping of lakes around the world.

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