2015 Volume 9 Issue 4 Pages 125-132
A newly developed web application, Climates of Global Lake Basins (CGLB), combines existing datasets and interactively displays geographical, hydrological, and climatological information for hundreds of lakes around the world. CGLB also provides photographs containing vegetation information as well as quasi-real time monitoring of lake water levels. CGLB can interactively create and animate time series of climatological data in a one-dimensional or two-dimensional (geographical) form. These functions are useful for education, expedition planning, and scientific research. As an example of the application’s use, links between water levels in Kenya’s Lake Turkana and sea surface temperature (SST) and regional precipitation were tested by time-lag correlation analysis. Precipitation showed no significant correlation with the lake water level for time lags of 0, 1, and 2 months. This suggests that variation in land-surface hydrological processes are key to the interannual variability in water levels in the lake. In contrast, SST in the central tropical Pacific was strongly correlated with the lake water level for all time lags. No significant correlation was found between the lake water level and SST in the Indian Ocean adjacent to Kenya, although significant correlations were found between regional precipitation and SST in the Indian Ocean.