Collaborative Research including:
Galen A. McKinley, Chin Wu, and Ankur Desai of University
of Wisconsin - Madison
Noel Urban of Michigan Technological University
The North American Carbon Program (NACP) intends (1) to develop
quantitative scientific knowledge, robust observations, and models to
determine emissions and uptake of CO2, CH4, and CO1 changes in carbon
stocks, and factors regulating these processes for North America and adjacent
ocean bsins; and (2) to develop the scientific basis for full carbon accounting
on regional and continental scales. The Laurentian Great Lakes over 25%
of the land area of the 8 Great Lakes states, and CO2 emission and seasonal
cycling from them may be comparable to local terrestrial ecosystems. THough
theri contributions to the regional carbon balance may be significant,
these fluxes are currently poorly understood. CO2 fluxes from Lakes Superior
are of particular interest because they may directly impact observations
at nearby AmeriFlux towers, yet due to lack of quantificaiton, Lake Superior
fluxes are currently neglected in analysis of these data.
Motivated by the need for improved knowledge of
Great Lake CO2 fluxes, we will couple an exosystem-carbon module to an
existing hydrodynamic model of Lake Superior to estimate these fluxes
and their spatial and temporal variability. We will also obtain new wintertime
observations of carbon parameters in the lake to constrain this model.
Using model output, we will evaluate the impact of lake Superior CO2 fluxes
on observations at AmeriFlux towers and on the regional carbon budget.
Through this work, we will address five key research questions:
- What is the magnitude of the air-water carbon flux in Lake Superior?
- How are the fluxes influcenced by variability in the physical climate?
- How does Lake Superior's carbon cycle behave in winter?
- What are the most important uncertainties in the Lake Superior carbon
- How do Lake Superior carbon fluxes impact the regional carbon budget?
Through this project, an interdisciplinary team will deelop improved
understanding of the "complex reationships between and within the
global water and carbon cycles". By jointly considering coastal carbon
processing and terrestrial carbon budgets, this project addresses the
research priorities of both th4e Ocean Sciences and Earth Sciences dvisions.
This project will address fundamental questions about the upper Midwest
carbon budget, improve knowledge of near-shore carbon cycling, and generate
a set of research priorities for future study of Great Lake carbon cycling.
A student and postdoc will be educated in ecosystem-physical modeling
of the Great Lakes, and the project will increase regional collaborations
for Great Lakes carbon science. Undergraduates from under-represented
groups will actively participate in the project through MTU's REU program.
We will also make efforts to communicate our findings to the general public.