Climate Change Effects on Great Lakes Levels

by Thomas E. Croley, II, Great Lakes Environmental Research, Lab, United States,
Holly C. Hartmann, Great Lakes Environmental Research, Lab, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory has developed conceptual models for simulating moisture storages in and runoff from the 121 watersheds draining into the Laurentian Great Lakes, overlake precipitation into each lake, the heat storages in and evaporation from each lake, connecting channel flows and lake levels, and regulation of flows at control points. We determine net water supplies and levels for each lake to consider climate change scenarios developed from atmospheric general circulation models through linkages on air temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, and cloud cover. Scenarios of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 are considered by abstracting changes in linkages, making these changes in historical data, observing the impact of the changed data in model outputs, and comparing it to model results obtained from unchanged data. The implications of the climate change effects modeled herein suggest that new paradigms in water management will be required.

Subject Headings: Lakes | Climate change | Mathematical models | Simulation models | Water storage | Water circulation | Waste storage | Runoff | Great Lakes

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