Lake Superior warming is global trend

Superior

The warming of Lake Superior isn’t simply a local or regional phenomenon. A similar warming trend is happening with Lake Baikal in Siberia.

The Duluth News Tribune reports:

The surface water of Lake Baikal in Siberia warmed about 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit from 1977 to 2003 and has continued increasing since then, according to scientists who presented their findings Tuesday at the International Association of Great Lakes Research convention in Duluth.

That warming is nearly as striking as the 4.5 degree surge that University of Minnesota Duluth scientists found from the surface waters of Lake Superior from 1979 to 2006.

In both cases, the water temperature increases are more than double the land temperature increase nearby each lake. And in both cases scientists hypothesize that reduced ice cover each winter on both lakes (caused by shorter, warmer winters) is allowing more sunlight to warm the dark open water rather than be reflected back into space off of white ice.

Right now, Lake Superior is in relative good health according to Dr. Stephanie Guildford from the UMD Large Lakes Observatory. Superior is the healthiest of the Great Lakes in terms of populations of native species. Guildford and Environmental Protection Agency Research Ecologist Mike Sierszen, discussed a scientific conference about lakes currently underway in Duluth on Almanac North.

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