Featured Technical Resources

Peer-reviewed Literature from the Annals of Science (sorted by year, author)

These recommended resources approach climate change from a regional perspective (Minnesota and Lake Superior) or present important national and global climate science.

2009

Ankur R. D., J. A. Austin, V. Bennington, and G. A. McKinley. 2009. Stronger winds over a large lake in response to weakening air-to-lake temperature gradient. Nature Geoscience 2: 855-858.doi:10.1038/ngeo693. (Observations from buoys and satellites suggest that increasing temperatures in both Lake Superior’s air and surface water, and a reduction in the temperature gradient between air and water, are destabilizing the atmospheric surface layer above the lake. As a result, surface wind speeds above the lake are increasing by nearly 5% per decade, exceeding trends in wind speed over land. A numerical model of the lake circulation suggests that the increasing wind speeds lead to increases in current speeds, and long-term warming causes the surface mixed layer to shoal and the season of stratification to lengthen. The researchers conclude that climate change will profoundly affect the biogeochemical cycles of large lakes, the mesoscale atmospheric circulation at lake–land boundaries and the transport of airborne pollutants in regions that are rich in lakes.)

Frelich, L.E. and P. B. Reich. 2009. Will environmental changes reinforce the impact of global warming on the prairie–forest border of central North America? Front Ecol Environ 2009; doi:10.1890/080191. (Within the next 50–100 years, the warming climate will have major effects on boreal and northern hardwood forests. This biome boundary shifted to the north- east during past episodes of global warming, and is expected to do so again. The climate of the future will likely lead to higher mortality among mature trees, due to the greater frequency of droughts, fires, forest-leveling wind- storms, and outbreaks of native and exotic insect pests and diseases.)

Galatowitsch, S., L. Frelich, and L. Phillips-Mao. 2009. Regional climate change adaptation strategies for biodiversity conservation in a midcontinental region of North America. Biological Conservation 142: 2012–2022. (Using climate projections from an ensemble of 16 models, the researchers assessed likely impacts and proposed options for eight landscape regions within Minnesota. Climate change projections suggest that by 2069, average annual temperatures will increase 3 °C with a slight increase in precipitation (6%). Key resilience actions include providing buffers for small reserves, expanding reserves that lack adequate environmental heterogeneity, prioritizing protection of likely climate refuges, and managing forests for multi-species and multi-aged stands.)

Olabisi, L. S., P. B. Reich, K. A. Johnson, A. R. Kapuscinski, S. Suh, and E. J. Wilson. 2009. Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Climate Stabilization: Framing Regional Options. Environ. Sci. Technol. 43: 1696-1703. (The researchers project greenhouse gas mitigation strategies for Minnesota, which has adopted a strategic goal of 80% emissions reduction by 2050. An 80% reduction would require complete decarbonization of the electricity and transportation sectors, combined with carbon capture and sequestration at power plants, or deep cuts in other sectors. A portfolio of conservation strategies, including electricity conservation, increased vehicle fleet fuel efficiency, and reduced vehicle miles traveled, is likely the most cost-effective option. To achieve ambitious reduction goals, policymakers should promote aggressive conservation efforts while phasing in alternative fuels.)

Rouse, W. R. 2009. Atmospheric science: High winds over Lake Superior. Nature Geoscience 2: 827–828. doi:10.1038/ngeo705. (Observations from Lake Superior show that regional temperature rise has led to an increase in wind speeds over the lake.)

Stine, A. R., P. Huybersv and I. Y. Fung. 2009. Changes in the phase of the annual cycle of surface temperature. Nature 457(22) | doi:10.1038/nature07675 PDF download. (This article comments on the change in onset of seasons on a global scale as a consequence of climate change.)

2008

Patz, J. A., S. J. Vavrus, C. K. Uejio, S. L. McLellan. 2008. Climate change and waterborne disease risk in the Great Lakes Region of the U.S. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 35(5): 451-458. (The Great Lakes region is projected to experience a rise in extreme precipitation events. Projected increases in heavy rainfall, warmer lake waters, and lowered lake levels would all be expected to contribute to beach contamination in the future. Extreme precipitation under global warming projections may overwhelm the combined sewer systems and lead to overflow events that can threaten both human health and recreation in the region.)

2007

Austin, J. A., S. M. Colman. 2007. Lake Superior summer water temperatures are increasing more rapidly than regional air temperatures: A positive ice-albedo feedback. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L06604, doi:10.1029/2006GL029021. (Lake Superior summer surface water temperatures have increased approximately 2.5°C over the interval 1979–2006, significantly in excess of regional atmospheric warming.)

2006

Jones, M. L., B. J. Shuter, Y. Zhao, and J.D. Stockwell. 2006. Forecasting effects of climate change on Great Lakes fisheries: models that link habitat supply to population dynamics can help. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 63(2): 457–468. doi:10.1139/F05-239. (Assessment of the likely effects of climate change on fish stocks will require an integrative approach that considers several components of habitat rather than water temperature alone. The researchers recommend using mechanistic models that couple habitat conditions to population demographics to explore integrated effects of climate-caused habitat change and illustrate this approach with a model for Lake Erie walleye. They show that the combined effect on walleye populations of plausible changes in temperature, river hydrology, lake levels, and light penetration can be quite different from that which would be expected based on consideration of only a single factor.)

2002

Waples, J. T. and J. V. Klump. 2002. Biophysical effects of a decadal shift in summer wind direction over the Laurentian Great Lakes. Geophys. Res. Lett. 29: 1201. (Analysis of summer surface wind fields over the Laurentian Great Lakes from 1980 to 1999 show a statistically significant shift in wind direction beginning around 1990.)

2001

Stefan, H. G. 2001. Simulated Fish Habitat Changes in North American Lakes in Response to Projected Climate Warming. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 130:459–477. (Fish habitat is strongly constrained by water temperature and the available dissolved oxygen. Winterkill is projected to disappear under the one climate scenario due to a shortening of the ice cover period. While coldwater fish habitat is projected to persist in deep lakes near the northern border of the United States, it is likely to be eliminated from almost all shallow lakes. Climate warming is projected to reduce the number of locations in the contiguous United States where lakes have suitable coldwater and coolwater fish habitat by up to 45% and 30%, respectively. The largest negative impact of climate warming on coldwater fish habitat occurs in medium-depth lakes; the largest negative impact on coolwater fish habitat occurs in shallow lakes.)


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