Annual Climate Trends and Impacts Summary for the Great Lakes Basin

Coordinated by a partnership between climate services organizations in the U.S. and Canada, this product provides a synthesis report summarizing the previous years’ climate trends, events, new research, assessments, and related activities in the Great Lakes Region. This product is a contribution to the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, through Annex 9 on Climate Change Impacts, and to the national climate assessment processes in the U.S. and Canada. It should be cited as: Environment and Climate Change Canada and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2017 Annual Climate Trends and Impacts Summary for the Great Lakes Basin. 2018.

 

2017 Document
English Version (PDF)
French Version (PDF)

Documents also available at binational.net

During the 2017 reporting period, several notable events and trends were observed across the Great Lakes basin including higher than average seasonal temperature and precipitation, flooding, and low ice cover. The majority of the region experienced a wet spring with persistent heavy rain and snowfall. Water levels in the five Great Lakes were above average, continuing a similar trend during the past several years. Due primarily to high spring rainfall, Lake Ontario reached its highest ever recorded water level in May 2017 resulting in shoreline flooding in New York and Ontario. Winter and fall warm spells led to record warm temperatures in parts of the basin. At just 15% areal coverage, Great Lakes maximum ice cover for the year was 40% below the long-term average.

 
Webinar
August 28th, 2018 webinar explaining the background and content of the document.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contributing Partners
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
Midwestern Regional Climate Center
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

References

Basile, S. J., et al., 2017: Projected precipitation changes within the Great Lakes and Western Lake Erie Basin: a multi-model analysis of intensity and seasonality. Int. J. Climatology, 37, 4864-4879. doi: 10.1002/joc.5128

Bramburger, A. J., et al., 2017: Decreases in diatom cell size during the 20th century in the Laurentian Great Lakes: A response to warming waters? J. Plankton Research, 39, 199-210. doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbx009

Byun, K., and A. F. Hamlet, 2018: Projected changes in future climate over the Midwest and Great Lakes region using downscaled CMIP5 ensembles. Int. J. Climatology. doi: 10.1002/joc.5388

Collingsworth, P. D., et al., 2017:  Climate change as a long-term stressor for the fisheries of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America.  Rev. Fish Biol. Fisheries, 27, 363-391, doi: 10.1007/s11160-017-9480-3.

Feltman, B. C., et al., 2017: Gauging concerns about climate change in Great Lakes coastal communities. J. Great Lakes Res., 43, 670-677. doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2017.05.003

ICLEI Canada, 2017: Great Lakes climate change adaptation project Ontario municipality case studies. icleicanada.org/resources/item/261-collaborative-implementation-groups-case-study-series

Kerr, G. H., et al., 2017: Climate change effects on wildland fire risk in the Northeastern and Great Lakes states predicted by a downscaled multi-model ensemble. Theoretical Appl. Climatology, 131, 625-639. doi: 10.1007/s00704-016-1994-4

Magee, M.R., Wu, C.H, 2017: Response of water temperatures and stratification to changing climatre in three lakes with different morphomery. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 6253-6274. doi: 10.5194/hess-21-6253-2017

Meyer, E. S., G. W. Characklis, and C. Brown, 2017: Evaluating financial risk management strategies under climate change for hydropower producers on the Great Lakes. Wat. Resour. Res., doi: 10.1002/2016WR019889.

Princé, K., et al., 2017: Environmental conditions synchronize waterbird mortality events in the Great Lakes. J. Appl. Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13063

Rasmussen, L. V., et al., 2017: Adaptation by stealth: climate information use in the Great Lakes region across scales. Climatic Change, 140, 451-465. doi: 10.1007/s10584-016-1857-0

Rempel, R. S., and M. L. Hornseth, 2017: Binational climate change vulnerability assessment of migratory birds in the Great Lakes Basins: Tools and impediments. PLoS ONE 12, e0172668. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172668

USGCRP, 2017: U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment Regional Engagement Workshop. globalchange.gov/sites/globalchange/files/REW_Midwest.pdf

Wang, X. Q., et al., 2017: Probabilistic projections of regional climatic changes over the Great Lakes Basin. Climate Dyn., 49, 2237-2247. doi: 10.1007/s00382-016-3450-7

Xue. P, et al., 2017: Improving the simulation of large lakes in regional climate modeling: Two-way lake-atmosphere coupling with a 3-D hydrodynamic model of the Great Lakes, J. Climate, 30, 1605–1627, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0225.1.