Great Lakes slowly losing water

June 22, 2007

Boaters on Lake Superior said the water is so low it appears the world's largest freshwater lake is disappearing.

The lake, which is about 18 inches below average, has dropped nearly 2.5 feet over the past decade and the entire Great Lakes Basin is seeing reduced water levels, CBS News said Friday.

Recreational boaters are moving boats to marinas set in deeper water and commercial shippers are being forced to reduce cargo loads.

A 20 percent less rain has fallen into the lake during the current drought and warmer winter temperatures mean less ice cover and more evaporation. Scientists, however, say they don't know if it is a natural pattern or global warming.

"Within a couple of years, they should be rising again," ecologist Doug Wilcox, branch chief of the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center, told CBS. "If they continue to go lower and lower, that would indicate to me that we're outside the bounds of the natural pattern."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Urbanization: The historical cause of low oxygen conditions in European lakes

Related Stories

Shadows reveal how insects walk on water

October 19, 2016

Water striders' ability to walk and jump on the surfaces of ponds and lakes has long amazed curious observers—and inspired robot designers who want to mimic the bugs' talent. Now, scientists have measured for the first ...

Receding glaciers in Bolivia leave communities at risk

October 20, 2016

A new study published in The Cryosphere, an European Geosciences Union journal, has found that Bolivian glaciers shrunk by 43% between 1986 and 2014, and will continue to diminish if temperatures in the region continue to ...

Team finds Southern East Africa getting wetter, not dryer

October 21, 2016

The prevailing notion that the African continent has been getting progressively drier over time is being challenged by a new study that finds that drought has actually decreased over the past 1.3 million years and that the ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.