Reports shed light on Great Lakes water levels

Posted Tuesday, January 21, 2014 --- 9:06 a.m.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- Scientists are reporting new findings about the relationship between evaporation, precipitation and changing water levels in the Great Lakes.

In a paper being released Tuesday, researchers say the role played by ice that covers sections of the lakes during cold winters is more complex than previously believed.

Lead writer John Lenters of the Ann Arbor consulting firm LimnoTech says ice doesn't simply act as a "cap" that limits evaporation in winter. It also cools lake temperatures and helps delay the onset of evaporation later. But heavy evaporation can occur shortly before ice forms.

The other study by the University of Wisconsin says large-scale atmospheric patterns played a role in regular ups and downs of water levels until the late 1990s, when they began a slump for reasons that aren't clear.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
NBC15 615 Forward Drive Madison, Wisconsin 53711 Business: 608-274-1515 Newsroom: 608-274-1500
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 241294581 - nbc15.com/a?a=241294581