Lake-Atmosphere Feedbacks Associated with Paleolakes Bonneville and Lahontan

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A high-resolution, regional climate model nested within a general circulation model was used to study the interactions between the atmosphere and the large Pleistocene lakes in the Great Basin of the United States. Simulations for January and July 18,000 years ago indicate that moisture provided by synoptic-scale atmospheric circulation features was the primary component of the hydrologic budgets of Lakes Lahontan and Bonneville. In addition, lake-generated precipitation was a substantial component of the hydrologic budget of Lake Bonneville at that time. This local lake-atmosphere interaction may help explain differences in the relative sizes of these lakes 18,000 years ago.

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