Rising Temperatures in the Great Lakes, USA and Canada44.7N 82.7W
The climate of the Great Lakes is changing. Higher global temperatures change patterns of seasons and precipitation at Great Lakes regional and local levels. These uncertainties impact ecology, economy, and social well-being.
Average temperatures increased by 2.3°F (1.3°C) from 1968 to 2002 in the Great Lakes region. By 2050, an average air temperature increase of 1.8 to 5.4°F (1 to 3°C) is projected. By 2100, an average air temperature increase of 3.6 to 11.2 °F (2 to 6.2°C) is projected. Winter temperatures will likely experience a greater increase than the summer months.
Lake temperatures have been increasing faster than surrounding air temperatures. Both inland lakes and the Great Lakes will likely experience longer warm seasons. Warmer water surface temperatures may increase the stratification of the lakes, decrease vertical mixing in the spring-winter, and lead to more low-oxygen, “dead zones” and toxic algal blooms.