Climate projection of Lake Superior under a future warming scenario Climate projection of Lake Superior

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Katsumi Matsumoto *
Kathy S. Tokos
Joseph Rippke
(*) Corresponding Author:
Katsumi Matsumoto |


In a future warming world, a fully dynamical model of Lake Superior projects that the lake will undergo significant physical and biological changes by the middle of the 21st century with important implications for the surrounding region. Projections for the winter include drastically reduced ice and very weak water column stratification. In contrast, the summertime surface warming is projected to begin earlier, last longer, and be more enhanced. In concert, summertime biological production is projected to shift earlier and become larger. These changes have potentially important consequences for stakeholders with interests in shipping, coastal habitability, fishing, water quality, and recreation. Perhaps more fundamentally, the projected changes imply that Lake Superior may change into a different kind of lake with a dramatically weakened dimictic behavior.

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