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Hydroclimate Technical Work Group Synthesis and Summary

Alain Pietroniro;Deborah Lee, Richard Thomas, Syed M. A. Moin
The Hydroclimate TWG prepared a final synthesis and summary to describe the work conducted during the IUGLS related to examining the hydrology and climate of the upper Great Lakes. Focus was on changes to the contemporary hydrology and possible impacts of future climate variability and change. Projects were designed to address two primary questions: 1) What are the historical net basin supply and how have any potential changes to the water balance components affected lake levels? 2) What potential impact could variations in climate have on any future regulation of the upper Great Lakes? Methods and models used to determine historical NBS were documented, and uncertainty associated with the data used for derivation of the water balance components was discussed. Climate modelling to predict plausible future scenarios, as well paleo-climatic studies and stochastic analyses to increase our understanding of the range of conditions that could occur in the future, were also discussed.
Hydroclimatic Conditions: Past, Present and Future
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Supporting Content (Show)
Main Topics
Hydroclimate Information
Questions We Asked
What are the limits of regulation?
What are the historical NBS estimates & how have changes affected lake levels?
View all 3 questions we asked
What impacts could climate variations have on regulation?
Key Findings
Future conditions are uncertain, so a new regulation plan must be robust
Increasing evaporation and precipitation are offsetting, except on Superior
View all 4 key findings
Changes in levels may not be as extreme in the near-term as previously predicted
Lake levels are unpredictable
Approve Lake Superior Plan 2012
Improve understanding of hydroclimatic processes & impacts
Technical Work Group Summaries
Understanding the Water Balance
View all 9 tasks
Assessing Reliability of Historical Data
Improved Data Collection and Monitoring
Hydrological Modelling
Assessing Climate Change Impacts
Water Supply Sequences
Risk Evaluation & Plausibility