The Great Lakes - On Thin Ice?

Mar 10, 2012

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A published report says the amount of ice covering the Great Lakes has declined about 71 percent over the past 40 years.

The report published last month by the American Meteorological Society says only about 5 percent of the Great Lakes surface froze over this year.

A Duluth News Tribune report (http://bit.ly/z5DoW8 ) says researchers determined ice coverage by scanning U.S. Coast Guard reports and satellite images taken from 1973 to 2010.

They found ice coverage declined 79 percent on Lake Superior and 88 percent on Lake Ontario.

The study's lead researcher is Jia Wang of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Ann Arbor, Mich. He attributes the decline to several factors, including broad climate change and smaller cyclical climate patterns like El Nino and La Nina.

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Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com