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. 2019 Annual Climate Trends and Impacts Summary for the Great Lakes Basin. 2020.

2019 Document
English Version (PDF)

French Version (PDF)

Documents soon available at binational.net

During the 2019 reporting period, several notable events and trends were observed across the Great Lakes basin, including extreme cold from a polar vortex event and a period of extreme summer heat, which both set temperature records. The basin had a wet spring with impacts on water levels and  agriculture. Water levels in the five Great Lakes continued to be very high, with Lake Erie and Lake Ontario reaching their highest monthly mean water level on record. Locations around the basin experienced coastal flooding and erosion due to high water levels through summer and fall. At 80.9% areal coverage, Great Lakes maximum ice cover for the year was 25% above the long-term average.

 
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
Northeast Regional Climate Center
 

References

Byun et al. 2019. Effects of 21st century climate change on seasonal flow regimes and hydrologic extremes over the Midwest and Great Lakes region of the US. Science of the Total Environment. 650, 1261-1277. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.063

Erler et al. 2019. Simulating Climate Change Impacts on Surface Water Resources Within a Lake‐Affected Region Using Regional Climate Projections. Water Resources Research. 55, 130-155. doi: 10.1029/2018WR024381

Mailhot et al. 2019. Assessment of the Laurentian Great Lakes’ hydrological conditions in a changing climate. Climatic Change. 157, 243-259. doi: 10.1007/s10584-019-02530-6

Read 2019. Hyperscale Modeling to Understand and Predict Temperature Changes in Midwest Lakes. sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/598de688e4b09fa1cb146372

Zhong et al. 2019. Spatially variable warming of the Laurentian Great Lakes: an interaction of bathymetry and climate. Climate Dynamics. 52,5833-5848. Doi: 10.1007/s00382-018-4481-z

McKenna 2019. The Laurentian Great Lakes: A case study in ecological disturbance and climate change. Fisheries Management and Ecology. 26, 486-499. doi: 10.1111/fme.12317

Gronewold and Rood 2019. Recent water level changes across Earth's largest lake system and implications for future variability. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 45, 1-3, doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2018.10.012

Kalcic et al. 2019. Climate Change and Nutrient Loading in the Western Lake Erie Basin: Warming Can Counteract a Wetter Future. Environmeal Science and Technology. 53, 7543-7550. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b01274

Marcarelli et al. 2019. Of Small Streams and Great Lakes: Integrating Tributaries to Understand the Ecology and Biogeochemistry of Lake Superior. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 55, 422-458. doi: 10.1111/1752-1688.12695

Wuebbles et al. 2019. An Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change on the Great Lakes. Environmental Law and Policy Center. elpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Great-Lakes-Climate-Change-Report.pdf

Lawson 2019. Using Economics to Support Climate Adaptation. https://headwaterseconomics.org/equity/climate-change/economics-climate-adaptation/

Kemkes and Salmon-Tumas 2019. Climate Change Adaptation Panning Guide Chequamegon Bay Area. https://www.northland.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/CRC-ClimateChangeAdaptationGuide.pdf

Tribal Adaptation Menu Team 2019. A Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu. http://glifwc.org/ClimateChange/TribalAdaptationMenuV1.pdf

Northumberland News. Port Hope teams up with McMaster University to zero in on climate change. Oct 7, 2019. northumberlandnews.com/news-story/9633496-port-hope-teams-up-with-mcmaster-university-to-zero-in-on-climate-change/

Delaney and Milner 2019. The State of Climate Modeling in the Great Lakes Basin. climateconnections.ca/app/uploads/2020/05/The-State-of-Climate-Modeling-in-the-Great-Lakes-Basin_Sept132019.pdf

Baird et al. 2019. Toronto Islands Flood Characterization and Risk Assessment Project – Flood Characterization Report. s3-ca-central-1.amazonaws.com/trcaca/app/uploads/2019/06/13113216/13017.101.R1.Rev0_FloodCharacterization.pdf

Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub. https://www.niacs.org/project/usda-northern-forests-climate-hub

 

Previous Summary Documents

2018

2018 English Version (PDF)    |    2018 French Version (PDF)   |   2018 References

2017
2017 English Version (PDF)    |    2017 French Version (PDF)   |   2017 References