Is Lake Superior’s Chilly Reputation Going Away?
Lake Superior has many claims to fame. It's the largest freshwater lake in the world by certain measurements and tends to serve as a permanent graveyard for those who meet their end in its depths.
In many ways, Lake Superior is a natural nightmare, but for once this interesting fact about Lake Superior isn't unbelievably morbid.
While the most morbid fact about Lake Superior has to do with how cold the lake is, this fact has more to do with its warmth. Unfortunately, while not as morbid, it is an unfortunate fact that requires monitoring.
According to Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota Duluth and oceanographer Jay Austin, Lake Superior may have a reputation of being unbearably cold, but it's the fastest warming lake on the planet.
According to Austin, via CBS News, Lake Superior has warmed at least one degree every decade since the 1980s, an unfortunate milestone not replicated by many other lakes on Earth.
The reason behind the warming is attributed to climate change. The warming of Lake Superior has resulted in a loss of 15 total days of ice cover on the lake.
On the whole, the warming is not a doomsday signal or anything overly worrisome. Still, the Great Lakes make up some 20% of the world's freshwater, and Lake Superior holds a hefty slice of that percentage. The warming is moreso something to watch in how it impacts everyday life for those near the lake, visiting the lake or the wildlife that calls the lake home.
Still, that doesn't negate the impact climate change could have on the Great Lakes region. One study from New York University suggests Lake Superior may not freeze after the 1960s on the current trajectory. Of course, many steps are already being taken to prevent the negative impacts of climate change around the world.
As Austin told CBS, "Ice gives us a sense of place, and that is changing over time. We don't want things to get worse, right? And so we have to understand how they work."
Michigan's Most Haunted Body of Water: Lake Superior
Strange Creatures of the Great Lakes
Gallery Credit: Wikipedia