News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Great Lakes water levels now above normal-Army Corps of Engineers, Wood TV, 1/21/15

The Wood Tv article doesn't define the terms "ever" or "recorded history:"
1/21/15, "Rising Lake Michigan water level ‘unprecedented’,", Grand Haven, Mich., Casey Jones

"In January 2013, Lake Michigan hit its lowest water mark ever. Just two years later, the big lake has seen what some are calling an unparalleled turnaround.

We’re up almost two feet from there. Last fall, we had an unprecedented event where lake levels continued to rise through the fall. It has not rebounded this quickly I think in any recorded history that we have,” said Chris Schropp of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers.

Typically, lake levels peak in July and then lower through the winter. Schropp said last year was the first time lake levels continued to rise past October. He said a combination of record snowfall, wet conditions and above average temperature contributed to the water levels rising so much.

Last year we had the ice coverage that didn’t allow water to evaporate from the lake, just snow fall, ice coverage and rain through the seasons,” Schropp said.

The current water level of Lakes Michigan and Huron — which are measured together — is 22 inches above where it was this time last year and eight inches higher than its normal monthly average.

It’s not the only Great Lake that is rising. According to the U.S Army Corp of Engineers, Lake Superior is 10 inches higher than average, Lake Erie seven inches and inland Lake St. Clair is 18 inches higher than normal. Lake Ontario is the only lake of the five Great Lakes that is below average — down by four inches.
The above-average water levels have pros and cons, according to Schropp. One benefit of the higher levels ties into commercial shipping. The deeper waters mean that big ships carrying goods can take a heavier load, in turn shipping more goods [*]....

Fortunately we did have that rise, so if they do go down, we should be back to average,” Schropp said." Image, Army Corps of Engineers via Wood TV. via Free Rep.

*Increased shipping capabilities must be a relief to the Center for American Progress author, below. How many billions of taxpayer dollars were diverted from the poor and needy and funneled instead to the $2 billion a day human caused global warming industry based on CAP and others predicting billions of losses to the Great Lakes via weather that didn't happen? 


In Jan. 2013 they said low Great Lakes water levels and reduced shipping ability would be permanent and cost billions of dollars:

1/18/13, "How Climate Change Is Damaging The Great Lakes, With Implications For The Environment And The Economy," Matt Kasper, Center for American Progress, Think Progress 

"Great Lakes Michigan and Huron set a new record low water level for the month of December, and in the coming weeks they could experience their lowest water levels ever. It’s becoming certain that, like the rest of the country, the Great Lakes are feeling the effects of climate change....

The amount of ice covering the lakes has declined about 71 percent over the past 40 years. Last year, only 5 percent of the lakes froze over –- compared to 1979 when ice coverage was as much as 94 percent.

Furthermore, the continuing effect of the historic drought in the Midwest is causing increased levels of evaporation. This combination of climate change side-effects results in low water levels for the Great Lakes.

The impact climate change has on the five lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario) will have serious implications for aquatic life, as well as high economic costs for communities.
  • The Great Lakes stretch from Minnesota to New York. They account for over 80 percent of North America’s surface freshwater, and provide drinking water to 40 million U.S. and Canadian citizens.
  • Many industries in the region that depend on trade through the lakes will face navigation challenges, and will have to reduce the amount of cargo carried
  • Tourism and recreational activities that are vital to coastal communities will surely feel the negative economic effects. 
  • Activity associated with recreational fishing alone is estimated to be at least $7 billion annually.
  • Infrastructure investments will need to occur, as the necessity for extending docks and dredging increases.
  • And the habitats of fish, birds, and other mammals will be altered. The two maps below developed by the Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping project (GLEAM) illustrate the severity of the environmental impacts on the lakes, as well as the warming temperature of the lakes.

    The researchers behind GLEAM note that water surface temperatures between 2000 and 2100 will warm at rates ranging from 0.37-0.93 degrees Celsius per decade in Lake Superior, and 0.20-0.60 degrees Celsius per decade in Lake Eire as a result of climate change. Research conducted by the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) found that summer surface water temperatures on Lake Superior have increased 2.5 degrees Celsius between 1979 and 2006. As climate change continues, fueling more frequent and more extreme droughts, we will continue to see more reductions in the extent and duration of winter ice cover.

    Researchers at GLEAM are not alone in this finding.

    Several different climate models for the Great Lakes region all predict that lake levels will decline over the next century. The NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) uses two different modeling approaches, researching the net effect of precipitation due to climate change, and the warming lakes and air surrounding the lakes are leading to increased evaporation levels.
    The Third National Climate Assessment draft, the most comprehensive peer-reviewed analysis of how climate change impacts regions and sectors across the United States, was released last week. It found that the likelihood of extreme events like intense heat waves, mild winters, and lack of ice cover on the lakes will occur with greater frequency. The draft also finds:
    • The Great Lakes are warming at rates faster than the world’s oceans. This will also stimulate blooms of harmful algae in the lakes, leading to toxic cyanobacteria.
    • Climate change will likely heighten the impact that invasive species have in the Great Lakes."



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