Our project focuses on anticipated effects of 21st century climate change on winter severity, snowpack, and lake ice across the Great Lakes Basin and the response of wildlife populations, namely white-tailed deer and dabbling ducks. Winter conditions have changed substantially since the mid-20th century, with rising temperatures, declining lake ice cover, and increased lake-effect snowfall. Nonetheless, due coarse resolution, poor lake representation, and insufficient treatment of lake-effect processes in global climate models, basinwide climate change projections remain uncertain. Changing winter conditions may greatly alter wildlife behavior and survival rates. The primary wintertime stressors for deer are air chill and snow depth, with extreme winters triggering population declines. Snow/ice cover limit foraging by waterfowl, thereby regulating the timing/intensity of migration and their distributions during non-breeding season. Changes in wildlife abundance and distribution can incur dramatic ecological, societal, and economic impacts. Warming may support expanded deer populations and overgrazing, while elevating infectious disease threats to deer. Annually in the U.S., 13.4 million people participate in deer and migratory bird hunting, generating $21.5 billion in revenue, with the hunting industry supporting 681,000 jobs. Our projections of climate change impacts on the behavior and distribution of deer and ducks will guide conservation planning.
- Notaro M, Schummer M, Zhong Y, Vavrus S, Van Den Elsen L, Coluccy J, Hoving C. 2016. Projected Influences of Changes in Weather Severity on Autumn-Winter Distributions of Dabbling Ducks in the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways during the Twenty-First Century. PLoS ONE 11(12): e0167506. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0167506
- Winslow, L.A., G.J.A. Hansen, J.S. Read, and M. Notaro. 2017. Large-scale modeled contemporary and future water temperature estimates for 10774 Midwestern U.S. lakes. Nature Scientific Data
- Hoving, C.L., and M. Notaro. 2015. Ice, snow, and swamp: Managing deer in Michigan's changing climate. Michigan Journal of Sustainability, 3, spring 2015.
- Notaro, M., V. Bennington, and B. Lofgren, 2015: Dynamical downscaling-based projections of Great Lakes’ water levels. Journal of Climate, 28, 9721-9745. (indirectly related to project, as we analyzed lake ice and regional snowfall projections from our dynamically downscaled data)
- Notaro, M., Y. Zhong, S. Vavrus, M. Schummer, L. Van Den Elsen, J. Coluccy, and C. Hoving, 2016: Projected influences of changes in weather severity on autumn-winter distributions of dabbling ducks in the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways during the twenty-first century. Plos One
- Webinar: A Weather Severity Index for estimating influences of climatic variability on waterfowl populations, waterfowl habitat, and hunter opportunity and demographics. March 12, 2015.
Schummer, Weather severity indices for estimating influences of climate on autumn-winter distributions of waterfowl and hunter opportunity and satisfaction, July 2015, Atlantic Flyway Tech Section, Albany, NY.
Notaro, Dynamically downscaled projections of lake-effect snow in the Great Lakes Basin, May 2015, American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly, Montreal, Canada.
"Notaro, Potential impacts of changing winter conditions during the 21st century on the migratory behavior of dabbling ducks in eastern North America, January 2016, Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Vanden Elsen, Factors influencing autumn-winter distributions of dabbling ducks in the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways, February 2016, Seventh North American Duck Symposium, Annapolis, Maryland."
Schummer, Weather severity indices for estimating influences of climate on autumn-winter distributions of waterfowl and hunter opportunity and satisfaction, February 2016, Seventh North American Duck Symposium, Annapolis, Maryland.
Notaro, Climate change in Wisconsin: Historical trends, projections, impacts, and adaptation, June 2016, Forest County Potawatomi Community (FPCP) Climate Change Adaptation Workshop, Crandon, Wisconsin
- Notaro, Projected changes in winter severity for the 21st century and implications for the migratory behavior of dabbling ducks in eastern North America, July 2016, North American Congress for Conservation Biology, Madison, Wisconsin.
- Michael Notaro plans to present project results at the Ecological Society of American Annual Meeting in Portland, August 2017
- Michael Schummer plans to present project results at The Wildlife Society Conference in Albuquerque, September 2017.
- Media: Syracuse Post Standard, “Study: Less lake effect snow, more rain near Great Lakes as climate changes”, December 2014.
- Media: UW-Madison Nelson Institute news item, “Nelson study on winter severity among new research funded by Northeast Climate Science Center”, December 2014.
- Media: Wildfowl Magazine website, “Read & react: Are duck migration patterns changing?”, October 2014.
- News: Secretary Jewell Announces new Wildlife and Cilmate Studies at the NE CSC. December 18, 2014.
- Media: Dr. Notaro was interviewed by WORT Community Radio, leading to two radio shows in September 2015: Effects of Climate Change on Health and the Great Lakes, and The Science and Effects of Climate Change. In both interviews, Dr. Notaro discussed some of the downscaling projection work under the NE CSC project.
We updated the CMIP5 dynamical downscaling interactive mapping website (which also includes a data download) to include results from four downscaled CMIP5 models.