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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).

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