Ice on the Great Lakes is Happening Faster Than Ever

Ice build up on lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior is happening at an alarming rate during winter 2013/14. Experts have notices that the lake water has frozen faster and at a more expansive rate than in recent years and, barring any unpredicted spikes in Winter temperature, will continue to do so.

“Meteorologists at the weather center have been tracking freeze-ups since 1978, and say it’s the second fastest freeze-up ever recorded. The ice jams are causing problems with ships on Lake Superior. A U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson says a trip from Minnesota down to Indiana is now taking six to seven days, as opposed to the normal three days.” reports

Ice Coverage Grows On Great Lakes

from NOAA

Ice Coverage Grows On Great Lakes

Ice Coverage on Lake Erie

Lake Superior went from 14 percent ice cover on January 1 to 37 percent ice cover on January 10. Lake Michigan went from 19 percent ice cover on January 1 to 36 percent ice cover now. Lake Huron went from 32 percent ice to 46 percent ice coverage in the same time frame, while Lake Erie had 25 percent ice cover on January 1 and is now 87 percent covered in ice.

The Great Lakes Region Gains Wetlands, Is Only Area in US Report Says

Great Lakes Wetlands

photo from Great Lakes Information Network

The Great Lakes Region Gains Wetlands, Is Only Area in US Report Says

According to a Federal Report, the Great Lake Region is the only area in the United States to gain wetlands. Wetlands that increased included run-offs from Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Lake Ontario.

“If there’s a cure-all for the Great Lakes, wetland restoration is just about the highest on the list as anything gets,” said Cameron Davis, a senior adviser with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

According to the Huffington Post “The gain was modest — 13,610 acres, an area not quite as large as the New York City borough of Manhattan. Yet it happened as the rest of the nation’s coastal wetlands shrank by 360,720 acres. The loss amounted to less than 1 percent of the U.S. total, but continued a longtime negative trend.”

The article goes on to report that “Experts say the gains in the Great Lakes region reflected in the study resulted partially from a prolonged drop in water levels, which created new wetland areas as vegetation sprouted along shorelines in places that had been submerged. Some of that acreage could disappear if the lakes rise again in coming years, said Tom Dahl, a scientist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and one of the report’s authors.

A list of the ecoregions in the Great Lakes Region Includes

  • Northeastern Highlands
  • Erie/Ontario Lake Plain
  • Northern Appalachian Plateau Uplands
  • Eastern Corn Belt Plains
  • Huron/Lake Eric Plains
  • Southern Michigan/Northern Indiana Clay Plains
  • Central Corn Belt Plains
  • Southeastern Wisconsin Till Plain
  • North Central Hardwood Forests
  • Northern Lakes and Forests
  • Lake St. Joseph Plains
  • Nipigon Plains
  • Thunder Bay Plains
  • Superior Highlands
  • Matagemi
  • Chalpeau Plains
  • Nipissing
  • Hurontario
  • Erie
  • Saint Laurent

To read the Report, click here.

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