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. 2018 Annual Climate Trends and Impacts Summary for the Great Lakes Basin. 2019.

 

2018 Document
English Version (PDF)
French Version (coming soon)

Documents soon available at binational.net

During the 2018 reporting period, several notable events and trends were observed across the Great Lakes basin, including rapid shifts in both temperature and precipitation. Some areas saw record-breaking cold and record-breaking warmth within a matter of weeks. The basin also experienced localized flooding, drought, and high ice cover. Water levels in the five Great Lakes continued to be above average, following the trend observed during the past several years. There was an early onset of ice cover due to extreme cold conditions in late December 2017 and early January 2018. At 69% areal coverage, Great Lakes maximum ice cover for the year was 14% 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
Ontario Climate Consortium
 

References

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. https://doi: 10.7930/NCA4.2018.CH21

Carter, E., & Steinschneider, S. (2018). Hydroclimatological drivers of extreme floods on Lake Ontario. Water Resources Research, 54, 4461–4478. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR022908

Charusombat, U., A. F. Manome, A. D. Gronewold, B. M. Lofgren, E. J. Anderson, P. D. Blanken, C. Spence, J. D. Lenters, C. Xiao, L. E. Fitzpatrick, and G. Cutrell, 2018, Evaluating and improving modeled turbulent heat fluxes across the North American Great Lakes. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, doi:10.5194/hess-22-5559-2018. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-5559-2018

Kemkes, R., Tochterman, A., Hofstedt, B. 2018. Chequamegon Bay Area Community Climate Change Study: Ashland, Bayfield, Red Cliff, Washburn. Centre for Rural Communities: Northland College. https://www.northland.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/CBA-Climate-Change-Study-2018.pdf

Lopez, H., West, R., Dong, S., Goni, G., Kirtman, B., Lee, S. K., & Atlas, R. (2018). Early emergence of anthropogenically forced heat waves in the western United States and Great Lakes. Nature Climate Change, 1. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0116-y

Milner, G., Delaney, F., Baginski, B., Baus, N., Hall, A., Jackson, A., and Witt, J. (2018). Prioritizing climate science knowledge gaps in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Prepared jointly by the Ontario Climate Consortium and the Centre for Environment and Sustainability to advise Annex 9 – Climate Change Impacts under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. https://climateconnections.ca/our-work/great-lakes-water-quality-agreement/

Peltier, W. R., M. d'Orgeville, A. R. Erler, and F. Xie, 2018, Uncertainty in future precipitation in the Laurentian Great Lakes basin: Dynamical downscaling and the influence of continental-scale processes on regional climate change. J. Climate, 31, 2651-2673, https://doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0416.1

Perdeaux S., J. A. A. Nunn and F. Delaney. 2018. Approaches for Conducting Vulnerability Assessments in the Great Lakes Basin: A Review of the Literature. Report submitted to Annex 9 (Climate Change Impacts) of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. https://binational.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/VAReport-Final.pdf

Sharma, A., Hamlet, A. F., Fernando, H. J. S., Catlett, C. E., Horton, D. E., Kotamarthi, V. R., ... & Wuebbles, D. J. (2018). The Need for an Integrated Land‐Lake‐Atmosphere Modeling System, Exemplified by North America's Great Lakes Region. Earth's Future, 6(10), 1366-1379. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EF000870

Wang, J., J. Kessler, X. Bai, A. H. Clites, B. M. Lofgren, A. Assuncao, J. F. Bratton, P. Chu, and G. A. Leshkevich, 2018, Decadal variability of Great Lakes ice cover in response to AMO and PDO, 1963-2017. J. Climate, 31, 7249-7268, https://doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0283.1

Zeuli, K., Nijhuis, A., and Gerson-Nieder, Z. 2018. Resilient Food Systems, Resilient Cities: A High-Level Vulnerability Assessment of Toronto's Food System. Initiative for a Competitive Inner City [ICIC] and Meister Consultants Group, A Cadmus Company (MCG). https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/hl/bgrd/backgroundfile-118076.pdf

 

Figures

If using any of the figures from the document (available for download here), please use the following citation:

Environment and Climate Change Canada and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2018 Annual Climate Trends and Impacts Summary for the Great Lakes Basin: Supplemental Materials. 2019. Available at binational.net

 

Previous Summary Documents

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