Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

A Dynamical Downscaling Projection of Future Climate Change in the Laurentian Great Lakes Region Using a Coupled Air-Lake Model

Version 1 : Received: 24 July 2018 / Approved: 25 July 2018 / Online: 25 July 2018 (06:06:33 CEST)

How to cite: Xiao, C.; Lofgren, B.M.; Wang, J.; Chu, P.Y. A Dynamical Downscaling Projection of Future Climate Change in the Laurentian Great Lakes Region Using a Coupled Air-Lake Model. Preprints 2018, 2018070468 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0468.v1). Xiao, C.; Lofgren, B.M.; Wang, J.; Chu, P.Y. A Dynamical Downscaling Projection of Future Climate Change in the Laurentian Great Lakes Region Using a Coupled Air-Lake Model. Preprints 2018, 2018070468 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0468.v1).

Abstract

Large water bodies such as the Laurentian Great Lakes have significant influences on local and regional climate through their unique physical features. Due to the coarse spatial resolution of general circulation models (GCMs), the Great Lakes are geometrically ignored in most GCMs. Thus, the dynamical downscaling technique serves as a necessary and feasible solution to bridge the gap. The Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) with an updated lake scheme is employed to downscale from a GCM, GFDL-CM3. The WRF-Lake’s performance is evaluated against observations, the GCM, as well as 23 other GCMs. Results show that the coupled air-lake model, with a fine spatial resolution and realistic lake bathymetries, reproduced a more reasonable spatiotemporal climatology than GCMs, as well as the lake-induced characteristics that were missed in GCMs. With lakes present, the seasonal variability of air temperature was reduced in WRF-Lake relative to GFDL-CM3, especially in summer. A reduced air temperature trend, about 4.5 °C/100 year in the 21st century, was projected in WRF-Lake. The seasonal evolutions of lake surface temperature and lake ice coverage were well captured by the lake model. The lake surface temperature was projected to be warming by 3.5-4 °C and the lake ice diminishing by 58.9% - 86%. Those results brought by the WRF-Lake model suggest that a fine resolution of the topography and the incorporation of the lake-atmosphere interactions are crucial to improve the understanding of the climate and climate change in the Great Lakes region.

Subject Areas

dynamic downscaling; WRF-Lake; CMIP5; great lakes

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