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Climate Change and Less Ice Cover on Great Lakes, USA and Canada

44.7N 87W

April 3rd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Lakes

USA – April 2nd, 2013

As the northern hemisphere spring begins, sediments can be seen in Lake Erie (bottom right) and along the southern shores of Lake Michiagan (left). Some ice can be seen in Green Bay (upper left), an arm of Lake Michigan located along the south coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the east coast of Wisconsin, and in North Channel (top), the body of water along the north shore of Lake Huron, in the Canadian province of Ontario. It stretches approximately 160 nautical miles and is bordered on the east by Georgian Bay (upper right).

Analysts say less ice cover is leading to erosion of Great Lakes shoreline. Whether you believe in global warming or not, changes are happening in the Great Lakes at all times of the year. The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation says climate change is behind a lack of ice cover on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, and that this is part of a long-term trend that first became noticeable in the early 1970s. Researchers say we’re seeing 71 per cent less ice in the Lakes than we did in 1973.

The lack of ice permits heavy wave action that contributes to beach and other shoreline erosion, since the heaviest wave action on the Lakes takes place during the winter months. The reduced ice cover allows the water to absorb sunlight instead of reflecting it back to the atmosphere. The absorption prevents ice from forming as the water becomes warmer (click here for more information).

Lake Michigan’s Green Bay, USA

44.5N 88W

May 6th, 2011 Category: Lakes

USA - May 1st, 2011

This thumbnail image focuses on the northern part of Lake Michigan, although the lake is visible in its entirety in the full image and part of Lake Superior can be seen above.

Visible on the left side of the image is Green Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan, located along the south coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the east coast of Wisconsin. Green Bay is some 120 mi long, with a width ranging from about 10 mi to 20 mi. It is 1626 sqmi in area.

It is separated from the rest of the lake by the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin, the Garden Peninsula in Michigan, and the chain of islands between them, all formed by the Niagara Escarpment.

At the southern end of the bay is the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, where the Fox River enters the bay. Some greenish sediments can be seen where the river enters the bay, although their influx does not appear to be particularly dense.