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Webinar: High-resolution Dynamically Downscaled Climate Projections for the Great Lakes Region

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016, 1:30

Tuesday, September 14, 2016. 1:30 PM. Webinar: High-resolution Dynamically Downscaled Climate Projections for the Great Lakes Region. Andre R. Erler, University of Toronto. Sponsored by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. More information here.


The regional impact of climate change, in particular on the hydrological cycle, is of great interest to society and policy makers. The Laurentian Great Lakes exert a significant influence on the climate of the surrounding regions; however, they are often only poorly or not at all represented in Global Climate Models. The work presented here is based on an ensemble of dynamically downscaled regional climate projections for the Great Lakes region at a resolution of 10km, which is forced by a smaller suite of global climate projections, as well as ERA-interim reanalysis. The regional climate model employed for this work is the Weather Research and Forecast model (WRF V3.4), which, for this purpose, was coupled to an interactive fresh water lake model (FLake; c.f. Gula & Peltier 2012). The representation of the regional climate as well as lake surface properties will be discussed and compared to observations. Particular emphasis will be placed on the representation of the lake effect in the lee of the Great Lakes; time permitting, sensitivity tests with different representations of the lakes and different moist physics parameterizations will also be discussed. Based on these simulations, the potential longer term (i.e. 2050 and 2100) climate change impacts will be analyzed, including changes to the hydrological cycle in watersheds within the Great Lakes region. Particular emphasis will be put on the effect of climate change on the lakes themselves, as well as the impact on hydro-climatic extremes such as heavy precipitation, floods and droughts.

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