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Old 06-10-2012, 22:23   #16
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Re: Great Lakes Water Levels

I was just looking at the side by side pictures in Wikipedia of the Aral Sea in 1989 and 2008. The comparison is shocking. Are we doing the same thing to the Great Lakes?

File:Aral Sea 1989-2008.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-10-2012, 22:51   #17
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Re: Great Lakes Water Levels

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
From my reading of the research, the most significant cause of lower water in the Great Lakes is related to diminished ice cover during winter, and the ongoing continental drought pattern we've been experiencing. The principle cause of this appears to be global climate change.

Ice cover limits evaporation during 1/2 the year. These days, not even Lake Superior freezes completely over in the winter, leaving open water during the winter months. This allows for significantly higher levels of evaporation on an annual basis.

The research I've read on the St. Claire dredging suggests that while there is some contribution to lowering Huron and Michigan, it remains a small effect compared to evaporation and diminished water inputs (rain and snow).
It sounds like a math problem. Take the surface volume measurement of Lake Michigan and Huron and see how much water evaporates in a year. There is plenty of data on rainfall and snowfall around the area. Plus there are probably rivers that drain into the lakes.

Then determine the current of the water going through the channel. And measure how much more area there is than before. See if this amount of water is close to the amount of water that is missing.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:27   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly
From my reading of the research, the most significant cause of lower water in the Great Lakes is related to diminished ice cover during winter, and the ongoing continental drought pattern we've been experiencing. The principle cause of this appears to be global climate change.

Ice cover limits evaporation during 1/2 the year. These days, not even Lake Superior freezes completely over in the winter, leaving open water during the winter months. This allows for significantly higher levels of evaporation on an annual basis.

The research I've read on the St. Claire dredging suggests that while there is some contribution to lowering Huron and Michigan, it remains a small effect compared to evaporation and diminished water inputs (rain and snow).
I understand that Superior freezes completely once or twice per 100 years on average. I say this off the top of my head but I think I'm in the ballpark.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:43   #19
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Re: Great Lakes Water Levels

Lake Superior Freeze Over? March 6, 2003

Or once every 20 years, but you look at the mid Feb 2011 Satellite, and it looks pretty ice free.

Lake Superior Ice Cover 2011
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:02   #20
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Re: Great Lakes Water Levels

According to a recent NOAA paper, "Total annual average ice cover on the Great Lakes has shown an overall decline of 71%, while the annual maximum ice cover shows an overall decline of 52% over the period 1973-2010 (38 years)."

According to another paper looking at Lake Superior's ice rates, "Analysis of the data indicates that the duration of ice cover on Lake Superior at Bayfield, Wisconsin has decreased over the past 150 years at the rate of approximately 3 days/decade or 45 days over the course of the study."

I and to add my own personal anecdotal pieces: we spend 34 days sailing the northern shores of Lake Superior this year. We never saw surface temperates less than 14-Celcius, and some places we measured 18-Celsius. Even when we were well off shore temps never went below 14. Last year we never saw water this warm, even in the anchorages. Off shore last year the temperature was 3-Celsius. I think normal summer lake temperatures are around 7 degrees.

I've lived in northern Ontario for 15 years and often fly over Lake Superior. In the winter I've never seen the lake completely iced over. In fact, it is rare to see much solid cover outside the bays.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:57   #21
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A better name for this thread may be Low Lake Water Levels.

From the Great Lakes down through Texas and all over the Midwest and West lake levels are down. Many areas are in severe drought conditions due to no rain for months.

Starting in the 1960's , cloud seeding programs started here and there and have now spread all over most countries of the world. These programs that try to encourage rain are changing rainfall patterns for the better for some, and depleting natural rain cycles for other areas. Several good documentaries on you tube about it.

I am hoping for a heavy snowpack winter.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:26   #22
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Re: Great Lakes Water Levels

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Starting in the 1960's , cloud seeding programs started here and there and have now spread all over most countries of the world.
Do you have citations for this statement?
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:57   #23
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Re: Great Lakes Water Levels

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Originally Posted by GaryMayo View Post
A better name for this thread may be Low Lake Water Levels.

From the Great Lakes down through Texas and all over the Midwest and West lake levels are down. Many areas are in severe drought conditions due to no rain for months.

Starting in the 1960's , cloud seeding programs started here and there and have now spread all over most countries of the world. These programs that try to encourage rain are changing rainfall patterns for the better for some, and depleting natural rain cycles for other areas. Several good documentaries on you tube about it.

I am hoping for a heavy snowpack winter.
Not to be pessimistic but, this doesn't seem to be working.

This is going to sound hippyish but why don't we work with Mother Nature instead of trying to force our will on her? She was doing this when we weren't even a gleam in the cosmic eye.

Having said that, there were several mass extinctions in the Devonian period. How do we know this isn't just something similar and maybe we aren't really doing anything destructive or productive in the grander scheme of things?

God, I sound like Rush Limbaugh. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

This is too much to think about. I'm going sailing tomorrow low water or not (hey, I have a Mac25, I can get out anywhere a canoe can) and I'm going to enjoy the fall colours.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:03   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz
Do you have citations for this statement?
I will post the you tube documentary links once I get to the office.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:06   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_f

Not to be pessimistic but, this doesn't seem to be working.

This is going to sound hippyish but why don't we work with Mother Nature instead of trying to force our will on her? She was doing this when we weren't even a gleam in the cosmic eye.

Having said that, there were several mass extinctions in the Devonian period. How do we know this isn't just something similar and maybe we aren't really doing anything destructive or productive in the grander scheme of things?

God, I sound like Rush Limbaugh. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

This is too much to think about. I'm going sailing tomorrow low water or not (hey, I have a Mac25, I can get out anywhere a canoe can) and I'm going to enjoy the fall colours.
Mac 25's are great sailboats, I had one a year ago and sold it. Easy and fun to sail. Have a good time. Pulling my 32 this weekend.
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Old 07-10-2012, 20:04   #26
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Re: Great Lakes Water Levels

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Do you have citations for this statement?
This is just one documentary on this problem, but it seems to be the least political, and the least controversial. Good place to start looking into the subject.

This is important to me, because the marina called me today, and my keel is 4" from the bottom of the lake. Will I have a slip to use next year, or will my sailboat be stuck on her trailer next year because there is not enough lake to sail on?

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Old 12-10-2012, 12:51   #27
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Re: Great Lakes Water Levels

We are Lake Erie sailors and this is the lowest I have ever seen the lake at this time of year. We hauled out a month early because depending on the wind strength and direction, we could not leave the dock...and we draw just under 5'. Biggest reasons I see is the drought and not having the lake freeze over last winter.

Hope it gets better next year!
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Old 12-10-2012, 13:12   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainBW
We are Lake Erie sailors and this is the lowest I have ever seen the lake at this time of year. We hauled out a month early because depending on the wind strength and direction, we could not leave the dock...and we draw just under 5'. Biggest reasons I see is the drought and not having the lake freeze over last winter.

Hope it gets better next year!
It looks like the ferry should have followed your lead....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windso...lake-erie.html
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Old 12-10-2012, 14:43   #29
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Re: Great Lakes Water Levels

The Great Lakes go up, the Great Lakes go down. My parents had a cottage on Lake Michigan that was nearly 500' from the bluff over the beach when it was built in the '20s. In the '70s lake levels rose dramatically and the bluff was eroded so severely that they had to move the cottage as far back on the property as they could. The cottage ended up with the front porch cantilevered over the bluff before the Lake levels began to drop to their more normal levels.

So rainfall has sucked for a year or two and you had a very warm winter with little snow accumulatiom and the Lake levels are dropping as a result. Get used to it, there is such a thing as climate change and it's been going on for a few billion years. As others have pointed out, if the dredging pulled the plug on the Big Bathtub, then water levels in the Eastern Lakes should be up which they apparently are not. The more normal rains and winters will return and the water levels will increase. Hopefully for the people who bought my parents cottage, the levels won't overshoot and threaten shoreline property.
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Old 12-10-2012, 17:17   #30
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http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/greatl...keswaterlevels

When it comes to the great lakes we are all just kids. Water was a lot lower in the 30's than now. I looked it up (attached) I find that too much about what your read is written by people who have not seem to look up the basic data.
As a lake Erie sailor this year I have seen a very different water drop, can't help but think it might have something to do with how much hydro power they make at the east end. It has been claimed that there are agreements on how much water exits the lake but I have never seen it documented or trended. Is it hard to believe bureaucrats tell all the actual truth.
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