Why are we studying Meteorology

The atmosphere and its weather is what connects everything on earth. Thus if something changes at one place it can have a quick effect on surrounding areas or even the whole world. Climate change is such a change which affects everything, even the very remote alpine lakes can not hide from its impacts.

The complex but fragile environment around and within the alpine lakes is very dependent on the atmosphere. Even slight changes can cause chain reactions or direct impacts that will put the environment out of balance or make it hard to adapt to the new very fast arising changes. One direct impact are the changing water temperatures patterns over the year. Longer and more extreme dry or cold periods are causing higher than usual water temperatures or longer ice coverage. This can have a major effect on the biology within the lake but also the water level over the year with the danger of the lake completely drying out. Stronger or missing rain events can cause further changes of the chemistry in the lake with a changing pH, oxygen level or salinity.

The weather though also causes large effects on the surrounding environment, which also has an indirect impact on the lake. The lake is fully dependent on the water input through rain or snow throughout the year to stabilise its water level. The amount of snow that falls during winter and longer or shorter cold periods dictate the water input of the lake through its drainage basin. With lesser snow during winter and a following very dry summer in worst case can end up in a dried out lake in late summer.

With the weather station that was installed next to the lake at mount Tymfi by the LiMnADs Project team in cooperation with the National Meteorological Office of Athens, the changing atmosphere is being recorded on sight all year round. The atmospheric data also will help the team to validate the hydrological data vice versa. Besides the windspeed, with the fastest ever recording in Greece of a 174 km/h in December 2022, also wind direction, temperature and precipitation are being measured.

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