On the simulation of Laurentian Great Lakes water levels under projections of global climate change
- 1.3k Downloads
A new method is proposed to estimate future net basin supplies and lake levels for the Laurentian Great Lakes based on GCM projections of global climate change. The method first dynamically downscales the GCM simulation with a regional climate model, and then bias—corrects the simulated net basin supply in order to be used directly in a river—routing/lake level scheme. This technique addresses two weaknesses in the traditional approach, whereby observed sequences of climate variables are perturbed with fixed ratios or differences derived directly from GCMs in order to run evaporation and runoff models. Specifically, (1) land surface—atmosphere feedback processes are represented, and (2) changes in variability can be analyzed with the new approach.
The method is demonstrated with a single, high resolution simulation, where small changes in future mean lake levels for all the upper Great Lakes are found, and an increase in seasonal range—especially for Lake Superior—is indicated. Analysis of a small ensemble of eight lower resolution regional climate model simulations supports these findings. In addition, a direct comparison with the traditional approach based on the same GCM projections used as the driving simulations in this ensemble shows that the new method indicates smaller declines in level for all the upper Great Lakes than has been reported previously based on the traditional method, though median differences are only a few centimetres in each case.
KeywordsGreat Lake Regional Climate Model Lake Level Great Lake Region Climate Period
The CRCM4.2.3 data has been generated and supplied by Ouranos. We would also like to thank the Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis for providing the CGCM3 archives. Jim Angel is kindly acknowledged for providing the data from Angel and Kunkel 2010. Funding for this research was provided by the International Upper Great Lakes Study.
- Clites AH, Lee DE (1998) MIDLAKES: A Coordinated Hydrologic Response Model for the Middle Great Lakes. NOAA Technical Memorandum ERL GLERL-109. Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Ann Arbor, p 48Google Scholar
- Croley TE II (2003) Great Lakes climate change hydrologic impact assessment. I.J.C. Lake Ontario—St. Lawrence River Regulation Study. NOAA Technical Memorandum GLERL – 126Google Scholar
- Hagedorn R, Doblas-Reyes FJ, Palmer TN (2005) The rationale behind the success of multi—model ensembles in seasonal forecasting—I. Basic concept. Tellus 57A:219–233Google Scholar
- Houghton JT, Meira Filho LG, Callander BA, Harris N, Kattenberg A, Maskell K (Eds) (1996) Climate Change 1995: the science of climate change. Contribution of WGI to the second assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, pp. 584Google Scholar
- International Upper Great Lakes Study (2009) Impacts on upper Great Lakes water levels: St. Clair River. Final report to the International Joint Commission, December 2009Google Scholar
- MacKay M, Bartlett P, Chan E, Verseghy D, Soulis ED, Seglenieks FR (2008) The MAGS regional climate modeling system: CRCM-MAGS. IN Cold Region Atmospheric and Hydrologic Studies, the Mackenzie GEWEX Experience, Vol 1: Atmospheric Dynamics, 433–450, Ming-ko Woo ed., Springer, pp. 470Google Scholar
- Mortsch LD, Ingram J, Hebb A, Doka S (eds) (2006) Great Lakes coastal wetlands communities: vulnerabilities to climate change and response to adaptation strategies. Final report submitted to the Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Programme, Natural Resources CanadaGoogle Scholar
- Quinn FH (1978) Hydrologic response model of the North American Great Lakes. J Hydrology 37:295–307Google Scholar
- Salas-Melia D, Chauvin F, Deque M, Douville H, Gueremy J-F, Planton S, Royer J-F, Tyteca S (2005) Description and validation of the CNRM-CM3 global coupled model. CNRM Tech Rep 103Google Scholar
- Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds.) (2007) Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA,pp. 996Google Scholar
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989) The potential effects of global climate change on the United States. Report to Congress. Smith JB and Tirpak DA (Eds) Report EPA-230-05-89-050, EPA Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation, Washington D.CGoogle Scholar
- Wilcock D, Wilcock F (1995) Modelling the hydrological impacts of channelization on streamflow characteristics in a Northern Ireland Catchment in Modelling and Management of Sustainable Basin-scale Water Resource Systems (Proceedings of a Boulder Symposium, July 1995). IAHS Publ. no. 231Google Scholar
- Wittenberg H (1994) Nonlinear analysis of flow recession curves. Flow Regimes from International Experimental and Network Data (Proceedings of the Braunschweig Conference, October 1993). IAHS Publ. no. 221Google Scholar