Inputs for lake morphology in ISIMIP3 runs of the global lake sector

  • Rafael Marcé (Creator)
  • Daniel Mercado (Creator)
  • Inne Vanderkelen (Creator)
  • Maddalena Tigli (Creator)
  • Annette Janssen (Creator)
  • Benjamin M. Kraemer (Creator)
  • Sebastiano Piccolroaz (Creator)
  • Wim Thiery (Creator)
  • R. Iestyn Woolway (Creator)
  • Mahtab Yaghouti (Creator)
  • Don Pierson (Creator)



Empirical evidence demonstrates that lakes and reservoirs are warming across the globe. Consequently, there is an increased need to project future changes in lake thermal structure and resulting changes in lake biogeochemistry in order to plan for the likely impacts. Previous studies of the impacts of climate change on lakes have often relied on a single model forced with limited scenario-driven projections of future climate for a relatively small number of lakes. As a result, our understanding of the effects of climate change on lakes is fragmentary, based on scattered studies using different data sources and modelling protocols, and mainly focused on individual lakes or lake regions. This has precluded identification of the main impacts of climate change on lakes at global and regional scales and has likely contributed to the lack of lake water quality considerations in policy-relevant documents, such as the Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Lake Sector of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP) was founded for simulating climate change impacts on lakes using an ensemble of lake models and climate change scenarios. The protocol prescribes lake simulations driven by climate forcing from gridded observations and different Earth system models under various Representative Greenhouse Gas Concentration Pathways, all consistently bias-corrected on a 0.5° × 0.5° global grid. The ISIMIP Lake Sector is the largest international effort to project future water temperature, thermal structure, and ice phenology of lakes at local and global scales and paves the way for future simulations of the impacts of climate change on water quality and biogeochemistry in lakes.

For a comprehensive description of ISIMIP, sectors, and protocols please see

In order to simulate the impacts of climate change on lakes worldwide, the ISIMIP3 Lake Sector protocol has defined a set of lakes to be modelled by all participating lake models, as well as the basic morphometry (i.e., hypsographic curves) information for each lake. This repository includes all calculations performed to obtain the final set of lake location and mosphometry inpput information for ISIMIP3 runs. For this, available datasets on global lake extension and morphometry were used first for selecting a set of representative lakes on Earth (~40000 lakes, one for each 0.5º pixel of the normalized input/putput grid for ISIMIP across sectors), and then morphological characteristics were assigned to each representative lake using a database on global lake morphology. The final set of files constitute the input data for lake morphology and location for ISIMIP3 Lake Sector runs, which are produced in netCDF format.
Date made available16 Apr 2022
PublisherWageningen University & Research
  • A framework for ensemble modelling of climate change impacts on lakes worldwide: the ISIMIP Lake Sector

    Golub, M., Thiery, W., Marcé, R., Pierson, D., Vanderkelen, I., Mercado-bettin, D., Woolway, I., Grant, L., Jennings, E., Kraemer, B. M., Schewe, J., Zhao, F., Frieler, K., Mengel, M., Bogomolov, V. Y., Bouffard, D., Côté, M., Couture, R-M., Debolskiy, A. V., Droppers, B., & 47 othersGal, G., Guo, M., Janssen, A. B. G., Kirillin, G., Ladwig, R., Magee, M., Moore, T., Perroud, M., Piccolroaz, S., Raaman Vinnaa, L., Schmid, M., Shatwell, T., Stepanenko, V. M., Tan, Z., Woodward, B., Yao, H., Adrian, R., Allan, M., Anneville, O., Arvola, L., Atkins, K., Boegman, L., Carey, C., Christianson, K., De Eyto, E., Degasperi, C., Grechushnikova, M., Hejzlar, J., Joehnk, K., Jones, I. D., Laas, A., Mackay, E. B., Mammarella, I., Markensten, H., Mcbride, C., Özkundakci, D., Potes, M., Rinke, K., Robertson, D., Rusak, J. A., Salgado, R., Van Der Linden​​​​​​​, L., Verburg, P., Wain, D., Ward, N. K., Wollrab, S. & Zdorovennova, G., 16 Jun 2022, In: Geoscientific Model Development. 15, 11, p. 4597-4623

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
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