An international group of investigators have created a database of lake surface temperatures, to help study the ecological effects of climate change.

As part of the Global Lake Temperature Collaboration (GLTC) project, researchers gathered a database of summer-mean lake surface temperature for 291 lakes and reservoirs around the world, including data collected from 1985 to 2009.

The project included several Australian lakes as well as data from the University of Western Australia, niversity of Adelaide and CSIRO.

Eighty two researchers from more than 20 countries were involved in the effort that began in 2011. They collected data from major lakes in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Oceanic region.

The database provides information such as air temperature, solar radiation and cloud cover that define climate, and geomorphometric characteristics including latitude, longitude, elevation, depth and volume, which may influence lake temperature.

The group plans to include additional lakes, longer time periods, and vertical temperature profile data in future surveys.

A GLTC group article summarising the project has been published in Nature's Scientific Data journal.