Skip to main content

Balancing Lake Superior's Carbon Budget

Something doesn't add up. Over half of the carbon moving out of Lake  Superior cannot be attributed to a source. Theoretically, the rate at  which carbon exits the system should equal its entrance. Researchers  think the most likely factor boggling calculations is an underestimate  of primary production, the rate at which photosynthesis converts  sunlight and carbon dioxide into organic matter. This study will  improve estimates of lake-wide primary production and also generate  the first estimates of how much plant matter is eaten by grazing  organisms. To better address the affects of climate variation,  researchers will evaluate the relationships among Lake Superior's  carbon budget, temperature, and light. Since all life depends upon the  transfer of energy - and therefore carbon - this project will refine our  understanding of how the ecosystem functions, mold future  investigations by scientists, inform management decisions by natural  resource agencies, and inspire public awareness about the role of  large lakes in the global carbon cycle.

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Natural Ecological Processes
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Superior
State Province
Annex Numbers
Research & Development
Annex 17
Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity

The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
interactive, Internet-based, searchable database created as a tool to collect and disseminate
up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.