Warm water, winds affect Lake Superior

Nov 04, 2007

U.S. researchers say warmer water and higher wind speeds have contributed to Lake Superior's near record low-water levels.

In the last 25 years, water temperatures on the lake have risen twice as fast as air temperatures, while wind speeds have increased by 30 percent, researcher Jay Austin, of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, told a Great Lakes conference Friday in Toronto.

Lakes Huron and Michigan, just inches above record lows, have been experiencing the same phenomenon, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.

"What we are finding is completely counter-intuitive," Austin said. "You would expect that a bigger lake like (Superior) would react more slowly to global warming."

But just the opposite is happening, he said, probably because Lake Superior, the world's largest freshwater lake, has so much more surface area to absorb heat. Lake Superior has warmed about 3 degrees Celsius since 1900, mostly in recent decades, Austin said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter northern forests in 50 years

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Under-ice observatory collects Great Lakes data

Apr 03, 2014

Guy Meadows loves winter. It gives the director of Michigan Technological University's Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) in the cold, snowy Upper Peninsula a chance to do something few others can: study ...

Surface of Titan Sea is mirror smooth, scientists find

Mar 20, 2014

New radar measurements of an enormous sea on Titan offer insights into the weather patterns and landscape composition of the Saturnian moon. The measurements, made in 2013 by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, reveal ...

NASA satellite sees great freeze over Great Lakes

Feb 28, 2014

At night, as cold settles in, lake ice creaks and groans. It's been excessively cold, and I camped exposed on the snow-swept surface. Other than the lack of vegetation and the sounds at night, you'd never ...

Great Lakes become nearly covered with ice

Feb 15, 2014

From the bridge of the Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, northern Lake Huron looks like a vast, snow-covered field dotted with ice slabs as big as boulders—a battleground for the icebreaker's 58-member crew ...

Recommended for you

New research on Earth's carbon budget

3 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

More, bigger wildfires burning western US, study shows

20 hours ago

Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years – a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to rise and drought to become ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

New research on Earth's carbon budget

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...