Monday, October 1, 2007

Lake Superior (US) sets record for low water

Environment News Network: Drought and mild temperatures have pushed Lake Superior's water level to its lowest point on record for this time of year, continuing a downward spiral across the Great Lakes. Preliminary data show Superior's average water level in September dipped 1.6 inches beneath the previous low for that month reached in 1926, Cynthia Sellinger, deputy director of NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, said Sunday….

All the Great Lakes, which together make up about 20 percent of the world's fresh surface water, have been in decline since the late 1990s. Lakes Huron and Michigan are about 2 feet below their long-term average levels, while Lake Superior is about 20 inches off. Lake Ontario is about 7 inches below its long-term average and Lake Erie is a few inches down.

…Scientists point to a number of possible causes for the low water, including historical cycles, weather patterns and global warming. "Is this going to continue? That's the big question and we don't know," Sellinger said.

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