Skip to comments.'Deep Freeze' Adding Inches of Ice to Great Lakes Levels
Posted on 01/21/2014 5:20:20 AM PST by MichCapCon
Because of low temperatures over the past few weeks there is more ice cover on the Great Lakes than in recent years.
Experts are now trying to assess if that means lake levels will increase because of the added ice.
"We have had very cold weather early this winter," Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. "There is a lot more ice on the lakes. The ice cover on Lake Michigan is at 40 percent and it is at about 45 percent on Lake Huron.
"There is a lot of research and experimentation taking place regarding evaporation," Kompoltowicz continued. "We know that evaporation plays a significant role in how much water leaves the system, just as we know that rain plays a major role in adding water. However, while we have a pretty good understanding about how to measure rain and its impact, that's not the case with evaporation. We're just beginning to get new technologies that could help us measure evaporation on the lakes."
There is reason to focus on the water levels of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. A year ago, in December 2012 and January 2013, the water level of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron dipped to the lowest levels recorded for those months since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started keeping track in 1918.
That attracted attention, including claims that the low levels were caused by man-made climate change. However, by February the level was higher than it was back in the 1960s and remained higher than in previous low periods throughout the rest of 2013.
During the Corps' 95 years of data collecting on the Great Lakes there have been three low level periods: 1926 through the mid-1930s, 1963 through the mid-1970s, and the current low period, from 2000 to the present. Throughout most of the current low level period, water levels on the Great Lakes have been above those of the 1963 through mid-1970s low period.
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are considered two lakes geographically but one lake in hydrological terms, and are considered one lake in regard to lake levels. Currently the water level on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron is about a foot above what it was a year ago and 14 inches above the mean monthly level of January 1965, which was the lowest measured over the 95 years of recordkeeping by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"We expect it to stay about a foot above last year's level at least through about June, Kompoltowicz said.
Winter’s a bitch!
More heat causes it to be colder, and if you question this notion, you are an anti-science conspiracy nut.
“Experts are now trying to assess if that means lake levels will increase because of the added ice.”
Doesn’t the ice form from the already present water? Where does “added ice” come from? Is someone trucking in extra ice from other lakes? I’m very confused.
The article is saying that since ice evaporates much more slowly than open water, there will be less evaporation this winter, which may help raise the lake levels.
More ice means less evaporation.
Less evaporation, because more of the surface area is frozen.
By the way, this website is the dog’s bollocks when it comes to Great Lakes Water Levels: http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/data/now/wlevels/dbd/
ONLY IF THERE IS NEW WATER ADDED!!!! Please tell me these people aren't THAT STUPID!!! I'm not yelling at you, just the stupid people.
Back in the 1970s, executives at U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes Fleet thought they could operate their boats year round. The Corps of Engineers approved the plan and the Coast Guard agreed to help break ice with their one Great Lakes icebreaker, Mackinaw. The ice did so much damage to the fleet that it took decades of regular service to pay for the damage...
“Added ice” here simply means more ice than usual, not that it was added from outside (though even that’s true when snow falls on ice cover and makes more ice, just as rain represents added water to a body of water). Nonetheless, added (or more, if you prefer) ice raises the water level in the lakes for three reasons that even those of us not trained in hydrology can point out:
1. Ice doesn’t flow. The Great Lakes have an outlet via the St. Lawrence River (if they had no outlet, they, not the puddle in Utah would be the Great Salt Lakes or would be called the Sea of Erie, Sea of Ontario, etc.). Ice not flowing means more water stays in the lakes.
2. Ice doesn’t evaporate (though it may sublime much more slowly than liquid water evaporates or melt, then evaporate). Thus, more ice means more water staying in the lakes on that count as well.
3. Although it’s a transient effect that ends when the ice melts, ice is less dense than water, so partial freezing of a body of water raises the water level.
geez are ALL journolists this stupid?
Take a block of ice, and float it in a cup of water.
Wait for it to melt.
Measure how much overflows- (hint: it will be zero)
Ice is LESS DENSE than liquid water, that’s why it floats. When it melts it will displace LESS volume
They aren’t talking about the ice raising the lake level. They’re talking about the ice preventing evaporation which keeps the levels up.
We had a lot of rain across the region last summer which brought the level up and the ice is keeping it up.
A glass of water with ice in it under room temperature will answer your question.
Well I would assume all the snow would be at some point be new water in the lake
Apparently only a couple of us bothered to read this.
Why not build a big dam at the Niagara Falls narrows and stop the water from exiting, that will make the water levels higher and stop the erosion of the rocks at Niagara Falls — problem solved!
...and maybe generate a few gigawatts of power while we’re at it.
Wouldn’t that make a few liberals’ heads explode...
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