Skip to comments.Despite Environmental Alarmism, Great Lakes Have Not Been Setting Low Water Level Records
Posted on 04/24/2012 8:43:14 AM PDT by MichCapCon
Over the past decade, alarmists have repeatedly made claims that the Great Lakes were drying up. However, month after month Great Lakes water levels were higher in the 2000s than low level records set in previous decades.
Humans have only been keeping consistent Great Lakes water level records for 94 years. In 1918 the Army Corps of Engineers began measuring and recording the lake levels on a monthly basis. This is a very short period in terms of natural history.
Yet, with the exception of two summer months on Lake Superior, the monthly measurements of the 2000s didn't even hit new low levels within the 94-years of record keeping.
In August and September of 2007, Lake Superior set a new record low for those months, Army Corps Meteorologist Keith Kompoltowicz told Capitol Confidential. After that there were record rainfalls. The water level went up and it no longer threatened to go below the range.
Those were the only low level marks set for the Great Lakes in the 2000s (2001-2010). That's two out of 120 monthly measurements for five lakes which is 600 monthly reports. Other monthly low level records (58 out of 60) for the 94-year tracking period were set during the previous low level periods, such as occurred during the 1920s, 1930s and 1960s.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Great Lakes have 6 quadrillion gallons of water. That's enough to spread a foot-deep layer across North America, South America and Africa. In addition, the volume of groundwater in the Great Lakes basin surpasses that of Lake Huron.
However, this hasn't prevented some news media accounts from painting an entirely different picture. These Great Lakes are drying up stories began appearing shortly after Lake Michigan and Huron entered a low level period in about 1999. A new batch of disappearing Great Lakes articles started popping up again in 2006-2007 when Lake Superior dipped to comparatively low levels.
Some articles claimed the World's largest lake drying up. MSNBC reported that the Great Lakes were shrinking as if it were a simple matter of fact. And some even claimed the Great Lakes were disappearing.
You see a lot of statements and different reports, Kompoltowicz said. They appear to come from academic types of hypotheses. We're certainly aware that these things are being said and written. But what we always keep our focus on here in terms of trying to forecast is just the next six months.
Global climate change has often provided the context for alarmist claims of threats to the quantity of water in the Great Lakes. This formed a backdrop for legislation at the state level; including attempts to let government encroach on private property rights.
It's true that the two upper lakes (Superior and Michigan-Huron) have been at relatively low levels over the past decade, Kompoltowicz said. But levels for the lower lakes (St. Clair, Erie and Ontario) haven't been low.
Kompoltowicz said the lake levels are tracked monthly and compared to monthly levels of previous years because Great Lakes water levels have a seasonal cycle.
This (spring) is the time of year when we see the highest water levels on the Great Lakes, Kompoltowicz said. Typically, we see the levels going down as we get toward late summer and into autumn and winter.
According to the April Great Lakes water level report from the Army Corps of Engineers, the lowest recorded level for Lake Superior for April was in 1926 and for Lake Michigan and Huron (which geologists consider to be one lake) the April low was in 1964. The lowest April mark for Lake St. Clair was in 1926; the lowest April record for Lake Erie was in 1934 and the lowest April level for Lake Ontario was in 1935.
Here are this month's Great Lakes water level gage readings compared to the long term (1918 to 2011) April averages (in meters).
Lake Superior's long term average 183.26, April 1 182.98 Lake Michigan/Huron's long term average 176.39, April 1 176.04 Lake St. Clair's long term average 175.04, April 1 175.02 Lake Erie's long term average 174. 22, April 1 174.36 Lake Ontario's long term average 74.88, April 1 74. 97
Watching the episode of “How the Earth was made” about the great lakes and was pleased to see the belief that global warming was discounted as a reason for falling lake levels (which are in dispute anyway)
The levels are measured to see if any one of them needs to be raised or lowered to facilitate commerce.
I thought the lie was that sea levels are rising?
Has the lie now changed to the Great Lakes are falling?
In the mean time, the University of Virginia hosts the Ambassador from Vietnam to sell the climate change propaganda and plead the case for wealth transfer from us to them.
The lowest I remember seeing Lake Michigan was in the latter part of the 1980s, in Grand Haven one could wade way on out there, well past those white boundary posts that are installed along the City Beach, and beyond, to the legendary sandbar. That year the water was also very warm, and trees along the streets of Grand Rapids were dying from lack of rain. Thanks MichCapCon.
I believe that was in 1987, Superior was warm enough to swim in and I did
I read this then searched FR. Just thought you might want an update on the drought and dredging being blamed on the low lake levels...
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