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The Great Lakes, USA and Canada: Increased Temperatures and Less Winter Ice Cover – March 5th, 2013

43.6N 78.1W

March 5th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Lakes

USA – March 4th, 2013

Ice can be seen along the southern shores of Lake Ontario (below), while the rest of the lake appears greenish from sediments and algae. In the full image, the other Great Lakes can also be seen. According to scientists, the Great Lakes basin is beginning to feel the impacts of climate change, which is resulting in less winter ice cover, as well as lower water levels, more extreme storms, and warmer air and water temperatures.

Although the changes in climate vary as one moves from location to location around the Great Lakes, due to the large size of the basin, there have been noted increases in temperature: around two degrees Celsius in some areas and a little less in other areas. Warmer water temperatures, plus warmer air temperatures means that there is shortening of the ice cover season. The ice cover, in other words, the freezing of the lakes, is necessary to try to control the evaporation from them. A shorter ice cover season can mean larger evaporation (click here for more information).

Great Lakes of North America – July 12th, 2011

46.2N 85W

July 12th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

USA - July 4th, 2011

Green vegetation surrounds the North American Great Lakes in this summer image of the United States of America and Canada. They consist of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario (from left to right).

Together, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface area, at 208,610 km2 (80,545 sq mi). Total volume is 22,560 km3 (5,412 cu mi). Here, they appear mostly sediment free, although some greenish sediments can be seen by the northern coast of Lake Erie.

Great Lakes of North America – April 9th, 2011

45.0N 82.4W

April 8th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

USA and Canada - March 30th, 2011

Snow dusts the ground in Canada to the north of the Great Lakes, while the terrain in the USA to the south is less snow-covered but partially obscured by clouds.

Lakes Superior (left, above) and Michigan (left, below), are partially visible, while Lakes Huron (center), Erie (right, below) and Ontario (right, above the former) can be seen in their entirety. Also visible south of Lake Ontario are the thin, parallel Finger Lakes of New York State.

Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron in USA and Canada – August 3rd, 2010

46.3N 84.6W

August 3rd, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

USA - July 4th, 2010

USA - July 4th, 2010

Three of North America’s Great Lakes dominate this image: Lake Superior (upper left), Lake Michigan (center) and Lake Huron (right). Part of Lake Eerie can also be seen (lower right). The lakes appear dark blue with an odd golden sheen caused by some sun glint.

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are connected by the Straits of Mackinac. Moving further east, Lake Huron’s large Georgian Bay is visible in the upper right corner. The bay is located in Ontario, Canada, and its main body lies east of the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island.

Vegetation Index of Canada from James Bay to Great Lakes – July 24th, 2010

50.4N 84.3W

July 24th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Vegetation Index

Canada - June 21st, 2010

Canada - June 21st, 2010

This FAPAR image shows part of Canada, from James Bay (above) to the Great Lakes on the USA border (below). The vegetation index seems to increase as one moves southward, as the color changes from yellow, to green, to red.

The area with the lowest photosynthetic activity is Akimiski Island, the semi-circular shaped island near the coast of James Bay (upper right quadrant).

The parts of the image with the highest photosynthetic activity are around the shores of Lake Superior, particularly around the southern coastline.