Climate change has already influenced lake temperatures globally, but understanding future change is challenging. The response of lakes to changing climate drivers is complex due to the nature of lake-atmosphere coupling, ice cover, and stratification. To better understand the diversity of lake responses to climate change and give managers insight on individual lakes, we modelled daily water temperature profiles for 10,774 lakes in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin for contemporary (1979-2015) and future (2020-2040 and 2080-2100) time periods with climate models based on the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, the worst-case emission scenario. In addition to lake-specific daily simulated temperatures, we derived commonly used, ecologically relevant annual metrics of thermal conditions for each lake. We include all supporting lake-specific model parameters, meteorological drivers, and archived code for the model and derived metric calculations. This unique dataset offers landscape-level insight into the impact of climate change on lakes.
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We would like to thank a number of collaborators that have assisted over time on this project, including T.L., J.V.D.H., C.M., E.S., P.J., M.D., K.W., M.H. and K.R. This research was funded by the Department of the Interior Northeast Climate Science Center (Title: An Integrated Assessment of Lake and Stream Thermal Habitat under Climate Change), the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration (Project F-95-P, study SSBW), the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (grant number NA09OAR4310108) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (grant numbers 3001595939, 751B0200072, 751P1301081). We acknowledge the World Climate Research Program's Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), and we thank the climate modeling groups (listed in Table 2 of this paper) for producing and making available their model output. For CMIP the U.S. Department of Energy's Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provides coordinating support and led development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals.