Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region References

This page provides references for the points in GLISA's Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region fact sheet.  The bullet points from the fact sheet are shown here with their respective refence(s) listed below each statement.   

Average Temperature, Total Precipitation, Heavy Storm Precipitation, and Frost-free Season: see Historical Trend Calulations statement at end of page

Temperature

  • Since 1951, annual average air temperatures have increased by 2.3°F (1.3°C) in the U.S. Great Lakes region.

See Historical Trend Calulations statement at end of page.

  • By mid-century (2050), average air temperatures are projected to increase by 3°F to 6°F (1.7°C to 3.3°C).

 See Future Trend Calcuations statement at end of page.

  • By end of century (2100), average air temperatures are projected to increase by 6°F to 11°F (3.3°C to 6.1°C).

See Future Trend Calcuations statement at end of page.

Precipitation

  • Since 1951, total annual precipitaion has increased by 13.6% in the U.S. Great Lakes region.

See Historical Trend Calulations statement at end of page.

  • Future projections suggest more precipitation on average, but not necessarily during all seasons (summer to be drier) and not for all locations depending on which model is used.

See Future Trend Calcuations statement at end of page.

  • Reduced lake ice cover and enhanced evaporation may lead to increased lake-effect snowfall in the near term, but rising temperatures will cause more winter precipitation to fall as rain as opposed to snow across the region by late century.

USGCRP, 2017: Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I [Wuebbles, D.J., D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, D.J. Dokken, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, 470 pp, doi: 10.7930/J0J964J6

Wright, D. M., D. J. Posselt, and A. L. Steiner, 2013: Sensitivity of lake-effect snowfall to lake ice cover and temperature in the Great Lakes region. Monthly Weather Review, 141, 670–689, doi:10.1175/mwr-d-12-00038.1 

Vavrus, S., M. Notaro, and A. Zarrin, 2013: The role of ice cover in heavy lake-effect snowstorms over the Great Lakes Basin as simulated by RegCM4. Monthly Weather Review, 141, 148–165, doi: 10.1175/mwr-d-12-00107.1

Snow, Ice Cover and Lake Temperature

  • Summer lake surface temperatures have been increasing faster than the surrounding air temperatures, with Lake Superior increasing by 4.5ºF between 1979 and 2006.

Mccormick, M.J., Fahnenstiel, G.L. Recent climatic trends in nearshore water temperatures in the St. Lawrence Great Lakes (1999) Limnology and Oceanography, 44 (3 I), pp. 530-540. Cited 78 times.
doi: 10.4319/lo.1999.44.3.0530

USGCRP Third National Climate Assessment Midwest Chapter: Increase Risks to the Great Lakes https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/regions/midwest

Austin, J.A., and S.M. Colman, 2007: Lake Superior summer water temperature are increasing more rapidly than regional air temperatures: A positive ice-albedo feedback. Geophysical Research Letters

  • Annual average ice cover on the Great Lakes underwent a shift from higher amounts prior to the 1990s to lower amounts in recent decades. There remains strong year-to-year variability, and high ice years are still possible.

Mason, L.A., Riseng, C.M., Gronewold, A.D. et al., Fine-scale spatial variations in ice cover and surface temperature trends across the surface of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Climatic Change (2016) 138: 71. doi: 10.1007/s10584-016-1721-2

  • Lake-effect snowfall has increased in nothern areas which may continue to increase through mid-century.

USGCRP Third National Climate Assessment Midwest Chapter: Increase Risks to the Great Lakes https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/regions/midwest

Extreme Weather

  • The frequency and intensity of severe storms has increased. This trend will likely continue as the effects of climate change become more pronounced.

​​​​​​​see Historical Trend Calulations statement at end of page

  • The amount of precipitation falling in the heaviest 1% of storms increased by 35% in the U.S. Great Lakes region from 1951 through 2017.

​​​​​​​see Historical Trend Calulations statement at end of page

  • More severe storms may have a negative economic impact due to resulting damages and increased costs of preparation, clean up, and business disruption.

​​​​​​USGCRP, 2017: Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I [Wuebbles, D.J., D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, D.J. Dokken, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, 470 pp, doi: 10.7930/J0J964J6

Water Quality and Stormwater Management

  • Projected increases in droughts, severe storms, and flooding events may amplify the risk of erosion, sewage overflow, interference with transportation, and flood damage.

​​​​​​​Winters, B. A., J. Angel, C. Ballerine, J. Byard, A. Flegel, D. Gambill, E. Jenkins, S. McConkey, M. Markus, B. A. Bender, and M. J. O’Toole, 2015: Report for the Urban Flooding Awareness Act. 89 pp., Illinois Department of Natural Resources​​​​​​​

  • Future changes in land use could have a far greater impact on water quality than climate change. The coupling of climate change and land use change could therefore result in even stronger effects in some areas.

​​​​​​​Szkokan-Emilson, E. J., B. W. Kielstra, S. E. Arnott, S. A. Watmough, J. M. Gunn, and A. J. Tanentzap, 2017: Dry conditions disrupt terrestrial–aquatic linkages in northern catchments. Global Change Biology, 23, 117–126, doi:10.1111/gcb.13361

USGCRP, 2017: Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I [Wuebbles, D.J., D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, D.J. Dokken, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, 470 pp, doi: 10.7930/J0J964J6

    Lake Levels

    • Water level fluctuations on the Great Lakes are mainly driven by precipitation, evaporation, and runoff, which make up the lakes’ net basin supply (NBS).

    Deacu, D., Klyszejko, E., Spence, C., Blanken, P., 2012. Predicting the Net Basin Supply to the Great Lakes with a Hydrometeorological Model. Bull Amer Met Soc, pp. 1739-1759,  doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-11-0151.1

    • After a period of low lake levels lasting from the 1990s to the mid 2010s, the lakes have risen at an uprecedented rate since 2014. This contributed to record high levels on Lake Ontario, which caused widespread flooding in 2017.

    Gronewold, A. D., J. Bruxer, D. Durnford, J. P. Smith, A. H. Clites, F. Seglenieks, S. S. Qian, T. S. Hunter, and V. Fortin (2016), Hydrological drivers of record-setting water level rise on Earth’s largest lake system, Water Resour. Res., 52, 4026–4042, doi: 10.1002/2015WR018209

    • Modeling of future lake levels is continually being updated and improved. Currently, the strongest evidence indicates increasing variability in lake level fluctuations.

    ​​​​​​​A.D. Gronewold and R.B. Rood, Recent water level changes across Earth's largest lake system and implications for future variability, Journal of Great Lakes Research, doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2018.10.012

    ​​​​​​​Algal Blooms

    • Warmer surface water temperatures increase stratification of the lakes and decrease vertical mixing.

    Shuter, B. J., J. Trumpickas, and C. K. Minns, 2009: Forecasting impacts of climate change on Great Lakes surface water temperatures. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 35, 454.

    • Stronger storms and the use of impervious surfaces increase runoff and nutrient loading to the Great Lakes.

    Michalak, A. M., and Coauthors, 2013: Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends consistent with expected future conditions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    • Combined sewer overflows and agricultural fertilizers are major contributors to high nutrient loads.

    Wisconsin's Changing Climate: Impacts and Adaptation. 2011. Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts. Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin

    Kunkel, K. E., L. E. Stevens, S. E. Stevens, L. Sun, E. Janssen, D. Wuebbles, S. D. Hilberg, M. S. Timlin, L. Stoecker, N. E. Westcott, and J. G. Dobson, 2013: Regional Climate Trends and Scenarios for the National Climate Assessment: Part 3. Climate of the Midwest U.S. 142-3

    Hayhoe, K., and D. J. Weubbles, 2008: Climate Change and Chicago: Projections and Potential Impacts. Report for the City of Chicago.Karl, T. R., J. M. Melilo, and T. C. Peterson, 2009: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. USGCRP

    USEPA, cited 2011: Great Lakes - Basic Information. [Available online at 17. Michalak">http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/basicinfo.html.]

    Michalak, A. M., and Coauthors, 2013: Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends consistent with expected future conditions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    • Stronger storms, warmer temperatures, and nutrient loading contribute to the formation of harmful algal blooms and hypoxic dead zones.

    Reutter, J. M., J. Ciborowski, J. DePinto, D. Bade, D. Baker, T. B. Bridgeman, D. A. Culver, S. Davis, E. Dayton, D. Kane, R. W. Mullen, and C. M. Pennuto, 2011: Lake Erie Nutrient Loading and Harmful Algal Blooms: Research Findings and Management Implications. Final Report of the Lake Erie Millennium Network Synthesis Team. 17 pp., Ohio Sea Grant College Program, The Ohio State University, Lake Erie Millennium Network,

    Mackey, S., 2012: Great Lakes nearshore and coastal systems. U.S. National Climate Assessment Midwest Technical Input Report, J. Winkler, J. Andresen, J. Hatfield, D. Bidwell, and D. Brown, Eds., Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA), National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, 14

    Ficke, A. D., C. A. Myrick, and L. J. Hansen, 2007: Potential impacts of global climate change on freshwater fisheries. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

    Fish and Wildlife

    • The rate of warming may outpace the rate at which ecosystems are able to migrate and adapt.

    Loarie, S.R., P.B. Duffy, H. Hamilton, G.P. Asner, C.B. Field, and D.D. Ackerly. 2009: The velocity of climate change. Nature, 462, 1052-1055

    • Wildlife populations better adapted to cold temperatures will continue to decline as competing species migrate into the region with rising temperatures.

    Jump, A.S., C. Matayas, and J. Penuelas. 2009: The altitude-for-latitude disparity in the range restrictions of woody species. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 24, 694-701.

    • Lake stratification and hypoxic conditions will further stress biomass productivity in lakes and wetlands.

    Magnuson J.J., K.E. Webster, R.A. Assel, C.J. Bowser, P.J. Dillon, J.G. Eaton, H.E. Evans, E.J. Fee, R.I Hall, L.R. Mortsch, D.W. Schindler, and F.H. Quinn. 1997: Potential effects of climate change on aquatic systems: Laurentian Great Lakes and Precambrian Shield Region. Hydrological Processes, 11, 825-871

    • Increased evaporation rates and sustained levels of high or low water levels may change wetland areas in the region.

    Erwin, K.L. Wetlands Ecol Manage (2009) 17: 71. doi: 10.1007/s11273-008-9119-1

    Water Availability

    • Despite increasing precipitation, land surfaces in the Great Lakes region are expected to become drier overall due to increasing temperatures and evaporation rates.

    Pan, Z., and S. C. Pryor, 2009. Overview: Hydrologic regimes. In Understanding Climate Change: Regional Climate Variability, Predictability, and Change in Midwestern USA, S. Pryor, ed., Indiana University Press, 88-99

    • More frequent summer droughts could affect soil moisture, surface waters, and groundwater supply.

    Wuebbles D.J. (2006) Executive Summary Updated 2005: Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region. Union of Concerned Scientists

    Hayhoe K. (2007) Past and future changes in climate and hydrological indicators in the U.S. Northeast. Climate Dynamics 28:381–407

    Karl T.R., Melilo J.M., Peterson T.C. (2009) Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. USGCRP

    • The seasonal distribution of the water cycle will likely change. Warmer temperatures may lead to more winter rain and earlier peak streamflows.

    Croley T.E.I. (2003) Great Lakes Climate Change Hydrological Impact Assessment: IJC Lake Ontario—St. Lawrence River Regulation Study. Technical Memorandum. Water Resources Management Decision Support. NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Ann Arbor, MI 126:84

    Argyilan E., Forman S.L. (2003) Lake level response to seasonal climatic variability in the Lake Michigan–Huron system from 1920 to 1995. Journal of Great Lakes Research 29:488–500

    Lenters J.D. (2004) Trends in the Lake Superior Water Budget Since 1948: A Weakening Seasonal Cycle. Journal of Great Lakes Research 30:20

    Cherkauer K.A., Sinha T. (2010) Hydrologic impacts of projected future climate change in the Lake Michigan region. Journal of Great Lakes Research 36:33-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2009.11.012

    Mortsch L.D. (2000) Climate Change Impacts on the Hydrology of the Great Lakes -St. Lawrence System Canadian Water Resources Journal 25:121-179. doi: 10.4296/cwrj2502153. Shmagin and Johnston, 2008

    Allen, J.D., Hung, V. (2000). Water Ecology FOCUS: Climate Change and River Flows, in Sousounis, P.J., Bisanz, J.M. [Eds], Preparing for a changing climate– The potential consequences of climate variability and change, Great Lakes overview. USGCRP, pp. 51-54

    Forests

    • As temperatures rise, the distribution and composition of tree species will change and shift northward.

    Vose, J.M., C.F. Miniat, C.H. Luce, H. Asbjornsen, P.V. Caldwell, J.L Campbell, G.E. Grant, D.J. Isaak, S.P. Loheide li, and G. Sun, 2016: Ecohydrological implications of drought for forests in the United States. Forest Ecology and Management, 380, 335-345. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2016.03.025

    • With warmer temperatures and increasing CO2, forest productivity will likely increase until other impacts of climate change, such as increased drought, fire, and invasive species present additional stressors to forests.

    Sturrock, R.N., S.J. Frankel, A.V. Brown, P.E. Hennon, J.T. Kilejunas, K.J. Lewis, J.J. Worrall, and A.J. Woods, 2011: Climate change and forest diseases. Plant Pathology, 60 (1), 133-149. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2010.02406.x

    Energy and Industry

    • Reduced summer water availability may interfere with some industrial operations (i.e., hydropower, thermoelectric and nuclear plant cooling).

    Zamuda, C., D.E. Bilello, G. Conzelmann, E. Mecray, A. Satsangi, V. Tidwell, and B.J. Walker, 2018: Energy Supply, Delivery, and Demand. In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II [Reidmiller, D.R., C.W. Avery, D.R. Easterling, K.E. Kunkel, K.L.M. Lewis, T.K. Maycock, and B.C. Stewart (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 174–201. doi: 10.7930/NCA4.2018.CH4

    • Warmer temperatures and more frequent heat waves will likely increase electricity demands, particularly in urban areas and during summer months.

    Larsen, K., J. Larsen, M. Delgado, Whitney Herndon, and Shashank Mohan, 2017: Assessing the Effect of Rising Temperatures: The Cost of Climate Change to the U.S. Power Sector. Rhodium Group, New York, NY, 27 pp.

    Agriculture

    • The frost-free season lengthened by 16 days in the Great Lakes region from 1951-2017, and may extend up to 50 days longer by 2100.

    USGCRP, 2017: Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I [Wuebbles, D.J., D.W. Fahey, K.A. Hibbard, D.J. Dokken, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, 470 pp, doi: 10.7930/J0J964J6

    • In the near term, a longer growing season and higher CO2 concentrations will likely have a positive effect on crop yields.

    Leakey, A.D.B. (2009): Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and the future of C4 crops for food and fuel. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276, 2333-2343. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2008.1517

    • In the long term, the negative effects of increasing storm activity, flooding, extreme heat, summer drought risks, and pests may outweigh the benefits of warmer climates.

    Hatfield, J.L (2014) Agriculture in the Midwest. In: Climate Change in the Midwest: A Synthesis Report for the National Climate Assessment, J. A. Winkler, J.A. Andresen, J.L. Hatfield, D. Bidwell, and D. Brown, eds., Island Press

    Karl T.R., Melilo J.M., Peterson T.C. (2009) Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. USGCRP

    Kimball B.A., Hatfield J.L., Izaurralde R.C., Thomson A.M., Boote K.J., Ort D., Ziska L.H., Wolfe D. (2011) Climate Impacts on Agriculture: Implications for Crop Production. Agronomy Journal 103:351

    Serbin S.P., Kucharik C.J. (2008) Impacts of recent climate change on Wisconsin corn and soybean yield trends. Environmental Research Letters 3:034003

    Winkler J.A., Andresen J.A., Guentchev G., Kriegel R.D. (2002) Possible impacts of projected temperature change on commercial fruit production in the Great Lakes region. Journal of Great Lakes Research 28:608-625

    Transportation

    • More extreme heat may increase the risk of heat damage to pavement and railroads.

    Tamerius, J.D., X. Zhou, R Mantilla, and T. Greenfield-Huitt, 2016: Precipitaiton effects on motor vehicle crashes vary by space, time, and environmental conditions. Weather, Climate, and Society, 8 (4), 399-407. doi: 10.1175/wcas-d-16-0009.1

    • More extreme precipitation may compromise transportation routes and damage infrastructure.

    Winguth, A., J.H. Lee, and Y. Ko, 2015: Climate change/extreme weather vulnerability and risk assessment for transportation infrastructure in Dallas and Tarrant counties. North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and Federal Highway Administration, Arlington, TX, and Washington, DC, 53 pp.

    • Shipping lanes will likely be open earlier and longer due to reduced ice cover on the Great Lakes.

    Millerd, F., 2011: The potential impact of climate change on Great Lakes international shipping. Climatic Change

    • Low lake levels can affect navigation channels and reduce the maximum loads carried by vessels, which amount to substantial monetary losses per transit.

    Sousounis, P., and J. M. Bisanz, 2000: Preparing for a Changing Climate. The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change: Great Lakes. University of Michigan, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Departmen

    Public Health

    • Increased risk of heat waves and increased humidity may amplify the number of heat-related deaths and illnesses.

    Ebi, K.L., J.M. Balbus, G. Luber, A. Bole, A. Crimmins, G. Glass, S. Saha, M.M. Shimamoto, J. Trtanj, and J.L. White-Newsome, 2018: Human Health. In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II[Reidmiller, D.R., C.W. Avery, D.R. Easterling, K.E. Kunkel, K.L.M. Lewis, T.K. Maycock, and B.C. Stewart (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 539–571. doi: 10.7930/NCA4.2018.CH14

    • More storm activity and flooding will likely increase the risk of watershed contamination and water-borne illnesses, while warmer surface waters amplify the risk of toxic algal blooms and fish contamination.

    Ebi, K.L., J.M. Balbus, G. Luber, A. Bole, A. Crimmins, G. Glass, S. Saha, M.M. Shimamoto, J. Trtanj, and J.L. White-Newsome, 2018: Human Health. In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II[Reidmiller, D.R., C.W. Avery, D.R. Easterling, K.E. Kunkel, K.L.M. Lewis, T.K. Maycock, and B.C. Stewart (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 539–571. doi: 10.7930/NCA4.2018.CH14

    Tourism and Recreation

    • Winter recreation and tourism are likely to suffer due to reduced snow cover and shorter winters.

    Chin. N, K. Byun, A.F. Hamlet, K.A. Cherkauer, 2018: Assessing potential winter weather response to climate change and implications for tourism in the U.S. Great Lakes and Midwest. Hydrology: Regional Studies. 10 (19), 42-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrh.2018.06.005

    • Increased lake contamination from algal blooms may degrade shoreline water quality and coastal ecosystem health, but increasing summer temperatures and longer summer season may increase demand for beaches.

    Angel, J., C. Swanston, B.M. Boustead, K.C. Conlon, K.R. Hall, J.L. Jorns, K.E. Kunkel, M.C. Lemos, B. Lofgren, T.A. Ontl, J. Posey, K. Stone, G. Takle, and D. Todey, 2018: Midwest. In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II [Reidmiller, D.R., C.W. Avery, D.R. Easterling, K.E. Kunkel, K.L.M. Lewis, T.K. Maycock, and B.C. Stewart (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 872–940. doi: 10.7930/NCA4.2018.CH21

    • Overall, summer tourism may grow before temperature rise becomes unfavorable for many recreational activities.

    Angel, J., C. Swanston, B.M. Boustead, K.C. Conlon, K.R. Hall, J.L. Jorns, K.E. Kunkel, M.C. Lemos, B. Lofgren, T.A. Ontl, J. Posey, K. Stone, G. Takle, and D. Todey, 2018: Midwest. In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II [Reidmiller, D.R., C.W. Avery, D.R. Easterling, K.E. Kunkel, K.L.M. Lewis, T.K. Maycock, and B.C. Stewart (eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 872–940. doi: 10.7930/NCA4.2018.CH21

    • Many coldwater species of fish important to recreation (i.e., whitefish and lake trout) are likely to decline while populations of warm water species are likely to grow.

    Collingsworth, P. D., Bunnell, D. B., Murray, M. W., Kao, Y., Feiner, Z. S., Claramunt, R. M., . . . Ludsin, S. A. (2017). Climate change as a long-term stressor for the fisheries of the laurentian great lakes of north america. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 27(2), 363-391. doi: 10.1007/s11160-017-9480-3

    Historical Trend Calculations

    These calculations use data from the NOAA NCEI Climate Divisions and Global Historical Climatology Network Daily (GHCN-D) Station Observations. The observed temperature trends are calculated by a weighted spatial average for each climate division within the Great Lakes states (i.e., Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York). The weights are determined by the spatial area of each of the climate divisions in relation to the overall region. The observed precipitation, extreme precipitation and the growing degree days are calculated by the spatial averaging of the GLISA-quality controlled GHCN-D stations within the Great Lakes region. To be included in the analysis, these stations are required to have at least 50-years of high-quality observational data during the period of 1951-2017. More information is available at the GLISA’s Great Lakes Climate Divisions and the Great Lakes Station Climatologies webpages.

    Future Trend Calculations

    Future climate projections are from a set of six dynamically downscaled models that were designed specifically for use in the Great Lakes region.  These dynamically downscaled data were produced by the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and include six Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) version 5 GCMs downscaled to a 25-km spatial resolution according to the RCP8.5 scenario using the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Regional Climate Model Version Four (RegCM4) coupled to a 1-dimensional lake model to represent the Great Lakes.  The numbers reported are for the amount of change predicted averaged over the entire region (40°N to 50°N and -75°E to -95°E) over land only (Figure 1).  Data directly over the Great Lakes was omitted in the regional average of temperature and precipitation, for example, because values over the lakes are not as trustworthy as over land. The Great Lakes Ensemble is a collection of future projections that have been vetted for their representation of important lake-land-atmosphere processes in our region. The Great Lakes Ensemble currently consists of the dynamically downscaled climate projections for the Great Lakes region, produced by the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison and GLISA's assessment of the CMIP5 models and how each model represents the Great Lakes.

    Figure 1: Map of area used for calculating Great Lakes regional average

    These data are available for download (netcd files) or viewable in maps at the link below. Other variables and temporal frequencies (e.g., sub-daily) are available upon request as raw netcdf output.

    Link to Data: http://nelson.wisc.edu/ccr/resources/dynamical-downscaling/index.php

    Notaro, Michael, Val Bennington, and Steve Vavrus. “Dynamically Downscaled Projections of Lake-Effect Snow in the Great Lakes Basin.” Journal of Climate. 28.4 (2014): 1661-1684.

    Notaro, Michael, et al. “Simulation of Heavy Lake-Effect Snowstorms across the Great Lakes Basin by RegCM4: Synoptic Climatology and Variability.” Monthly Weather Review. 141 (2013b): 1990-2014.