The MINLAKE97 model was employed to simulated ice-on and ice-off dates, ice
cover duration and ice thicknesses for four lakes in the us and one lake in Canada.
MINLAKE97 is a one dimensional, year-round, deterministic water quality model which
simulates vertical temperature and dissolved oxygen profiles in lakes and has the ability
to simulate ice on-dates, ice growth, ice decay and ice-off dates. A new ice and snow
albedo submodel was incorporated into the MINLAKE96 model to produce
MINLAKE97, The average standard errors between simulated and measured values were
10 days, 9 days and 11 days for ice on-dates, ice-off dates and ice cover duration,
respectively, without calibrating the model.
The model was also employed to simulate the effect of a projected 2xC02 climate
scenario on the ice characteristics of the same five lakes. To illustrate the climate change
effect, time series for the ice-on dates, ice-off dates, ice cover duration and maximum ice
thicknesses under past and 2xC02 climate scenarios were simulated. The root mean.
square of changes for ice-on dates, ice-off dates, ice cover duration and maximum ice
thicknesses between past and 2xC02 climate scenarios were projected to be 13 days, 21
days, 31 days and 0.27 m, respectively. Under the 2xC02 climate scenario the average
ice-on dates are 7 days to 12 days later; the average ice-off dates are 15 days to 23 days
earlier; the ice cover durations are 25 days to 33 days shorter; and the maximum ice
thicknesses are 0.18 m to 0.30 m thinner.
The results were compared with empirical projections by Adams and Stefan
(1997). The two models gave similar results for the projected changes of ice-on and iceoff
dates between 2xC02 and past conditions, but gave different results for the projected
changes of ice cover duration.
The overall conclusion is that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (2xC02)
would have a significant effect on lake ice characteristics.
Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency; Mid-Continent Ecology Division, US Environmental Protection Agency
Gao, Shaobai; Stefan, Heinz G..
Observed and Simulated Ice Characteristics of Five Freshwater Lakes and Extrapolation to a Projected 2xC02 Climate Scenario.
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.
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