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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Less Ice on Great Lakes

Regional | by Peter Jackson  

Analysts say less ice cover is leading to erosion of Great Lakes shoreline.

Whether you believe in global warming or not, changes are happening in the Great Lakes at all times of the year.

The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation says climate change is behind a lack of ice cover on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

Spokesperson Geoff Peach says it's part of a long-term trend that first became noticeable in the early 1970s.

Researchers for the Michigan-based US Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory say we're seeing 71 per cent less ice in the Lakes than we did in 1973.

Peach tells Bayshore Broadcasting News that the lack of ice permits heavy wave action that contributes to beach and other shoreline erosion.

He notes that the heaviest wave action on the Lakes takes place during the winter months.

Peach observes that the reduced ice cover allows the water to absorb sunlight instead of reflecting it back to the atmosphere.

The absorption prevents ice from forming as the water becomes warmer.

Peach warns that the trend is likely to continue and since we can't do anything about the weather, then governments will have to look at strategies to help reduce erosion.



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