Lake Superior might hit record low levels

Aug 15, 2007

Lake Superior is nearing a record low level for the month of August and might set records for September and October, U.S. government hydrologists said.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can forecast lake levels 12 months in advance, using current hydrological conditions combined with long-term climate outlooks.

"Lake Superior is less than 6 centimeters (2.3 inches) higher than its August record low of 182.97 meters (600 feet) which was set in 1926, and it looks as though the water levels may continue to plunge," said Cynthia Sellinger, deputy director of NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Sellinger said NOAA's lake level forecasts predict a 15 percent to 20 percent probability that new monthly records will be set some time this fall.

The researchers said for every inch Lake Superior drops, 529 billion gallons of water are displaced. During the past decade, 12.7 trillion gallons of water have left Lake Superior.

The lake's all-time record low of 182.69 meters (599.37 feet) was set in April 1926 as a result of a major climatic event that led to the nation's infamous dust bowl era.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: US northeast braces for flooding after record snow

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Calcium loss turning lakes to 'jelly'

Nov 18, 2014

New research on a number of Canadian lakes show that historical acid deposits as a result of industry have greatly reduced calcium levels in the water - dramatically impacting populations of calcium-rich ...

NASA parachute engineers have appetite for destruction

Oct 09, 2014

Engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are bound and determined to destroy a perfectly good parachute this week during the latest test for the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator ...

Recommended for you

US northeast braces for flooding after record snow

8 hours ago

Weather forecasters and emergency officials warned Sunday that melting snow would lead to heavy flooding in parts of the US northeast, with hundreds of thousands of people told to brace for fast-rising waters.

3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

Nov 21, 2014

Last week, China and the United States announced an ambitious climate agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions in both countries, a pledge that marks the first time that China has agreed to stop its growing emissions. ...

From hurricanes to drought, LatAm's volatile climate

Nov 21, 2014

Sixteen years ago, Teodoro Acuna Zavala lost nearly everything when Hurricane Mitch ravaged his fields, pouring 10 days of torrential rains on Central America and killing more than 9,000 people.

User comments : 0

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.