Global Warming and Lake Superior

lake superior at sunset

Although it can be hard to notice the effects of the changing climate day-to-day there is no doubt that the lake is changing overall. It is becoming an undeniable reality after numbers year after year the Lake Superior is changing just like any other body of water in the world.

One effect of the warming that has been recorded so far is the surface water temperature. It has warmed twice as much as the air above it since 1980. In fact, every decade we are seeing an increase in about 2 degrees Fahrenheit in surface water temperature, while the regional air temperature has increased only one degree. The ice cover has also decreased by about 0.5% every year and has decreased by between 12% and 23% in the last century.

One of the biggest concerns regarding the lake and its rising temperatures is how long the summer stratification season is becoming. Spring turnover has become earlier by about half a day per year, leading to earlier stratification, and in return, making fall mixing later. People may not even notice the effects global warming is taking on the lake, but some notice more frequent and intense storms, warmer annual temperatures, drier summers, warmer winters, and much more.

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