Great Lakes Climate Change Analysis

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Climate Change Analysis

Tips for navigating the technical appendices:
The links below lead to a range of background papers (in .pdf format). Within each you may find links to related background papers. Following these embedded links, a new window will open. After reading the linked text, you may close that window or press the [←Back] key to return to the original pdf.

** New Published Research **
Climate Change Projections for the United States Midwest
Donald J. Wuebbles. Katharine Hayhoe.
To view the published version of the climate change projections for the United States Midwest, go to and search for the above listed paper under "Forthcoming Papers."

Projections of how climate will respond to current and future emissions from human activities are the starting point for assessing the potential impacts of climate change. This study combines the latest information available from three key sources—IPCC emission scenarios, climate model results, and observed climate data over the past century—to develop a comprehensive picture of the climate change in the Great Lakes region over the last 100 and future 100 years.

Climate change projections are the result of calculations from two of the latest generation of three-dimensional climate models, the HadCM3 model and the Parallel Climate Model (PCM), and are based on the most recent IPCC 2000 standard emission scenarios. Results from ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ emission scenarios were used to assess the range of change that we may expect to observe in future temperature, precipitation and other key variables. Model results were integrated with a historical database of climate in the Great Lakes region that extends back over 100 years, enabling us to place future change within the context of observed climate in the region over the last century.

Although interpolating the results of large-scale global models down to the regional level still involves some uncertainty, we found good agreement between the changes projected by different models over the Great Lakes region. This is in contrast to the varied projections made by previous assessments such as the U.S. National Assessment, which was based on older models and earlier emission scenarios. In comparison with previous assessments, these new climate projections show greater temperature change, particularly in the summer, accompanied by a general drying throughout the region in summer and fall.

Please click on the links below for further information on:

To directly view geographical plots and time series of historical and modelled changes in key climate variables projected by this analysis, use the following links:

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