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WSC-Category 2: Extreme events impacts on water quality in the Great Lakes: Prediction and management of nutrient loading in a changing climate

a PSC Research Project [ARCHIVE DISPLAY]

Investigators:   Anna Marta Michalak, Daniel G. Brown, Donald Scavia, Allison L. Steiner, Derek J. Posselt, Dmitry Beletsky, Deborah N. Huntzinger, Maria Carmen de Mello Lemos, Jennifer Read, Michael R. Moore

WSC-Category 2: Extreme events impacts on water quality in the Great Lakes: Prediction and management of nutrient loading in a changing climate

Principal Investigator:
Anna M. Michalak, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
The University of Michigan (UM)

Co-Principal Investigators:
Arun Agrawal, School of Natural Resources and Environment, UM
David Allan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, UM
Daniel Brown, School of Natural Resources and Environment, UM
Allen Burton, School of Natural Resources and Environment, UM
Joseph Depinto, Limnotech Inc., Ann Arbor, MI
Mary Anne Evans, School of Natural Resources and Environment, UM
Deborah Huntzinger, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UM
Maria Lemos, School of Natural Resources and Environment, UM
Michael Moore, School of Natural Resources and Environment, UM
Donald Scavia, School of Natural Resources and Environment, UM
Allison Steiner, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, UM

Synopsis:
We propose to study water systems in a changing climate through the lens of Sustainability Science, which provides a framework where all systems can move endogenously through time with interactions.
This study will develop an analytical system for the prediction of outcomes and feedbacks among the climate, biogeochemical, and social systems controlling water quality in the Great Lakes region. The focus will be on the expected impact of climate-change-related extreme events on nutrient loading to the Great Lakes, and the development of management systems that are robust and support adaptation in this context. We will select specific analytical scenarios, such as increased drought, extremes in springtime precipitation, changes in snowmelt patterns, and rapid shifts in human water use. A 50-year retrospective analysis will identify feedbacks and parameterize models to predict future changes, and a prognostic analysis will project impacts for 100 years. We will leverage ongoing water quality monitoring and modeling efforts, and perform a gap analysis for additional physical, ecological, biogeochemical, and social data needs. The majority of additional data collection will focus on linking the physical and biogeochemical systems with issues of governance through institutions, information, and incentives, as they shape behavior and policy-making.
Overall, the project will (1) enhance understanding of the expected impacts of climate-change-induced extreme events on water quality, with the Great Lakes as a case study; and (2) create an analytical framework for integrating the human and biogeochemical controls on water quality that transcends the individual SBE, Bio, Eng, and Geo perspectives.

Funding Period: 10/03/2010 to 01/31/2013

Country of Focus: USA

This PSC Archive record is displayed for historical reference.

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