In a future warming world, a fully dynamical model of Lake Superior projects that the lake will undergo significant physical and biological changes by the middle of the 21st century with important implications for the surrounding region. Projections for the winter include drastically reduced ice and very weak water column stratification. In contrast, the summertime surface warming is projected to begin earlier, last longer, and be more enhanced. In concert, summertime biological production is projected to shift earlier and become larger. These changes have potentially important consequences for stakeholders with interests in shipping, coastal habitability, fishing, water quality, and recreation. Perhaps more fundamentally, the projected changes imply that Lake Superior may change into a different kind of lake with a dramatically weakened dimictic behavior.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NASA Physical Oceanography grant NNX13AM85G to KM. Numerical modeling and analysis were carried out using resources at the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI).
- Climate projection
- Great Lake
- Lake Superior
- Numerical model