Great Lakes Water LevelsSeptember 5th, 2013 at 8:12 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Here’s another great pic. from Jack Martin taken at Lake Michigan Thurs. AM. To me, the most striking number on the weekly update is the continued phenomenal rise in the water level of Lake Superior. This is a big lake. Each inch of water gained on Lake Superior represents 552 billion gallons of water. Lake Superior is up 2″ in the last month (at a time when the lake level is usually falling) and is now only one inch below the average September level. It’s 10″ higher than it was one year ago (so an increase of 5.52 TRILLION gallons. Superior is now 19″ above the lowest September level and just 14″ below the highest level ever for September. The huge increase in the water level of Lake Superior has allowed the Army Corps of Engineers to increase the water coming down the St. Mary’s River by nearly 20%. This will help with the water level of Lake Michigan/Huron, which is down one inch in the past month. However, Lake Michigan/Huron is 5″ higher than it was one year ago and 12″ above the lowest September level reached in 1964. Lake St. Clair is up 7″ year-to-year, Lake Erie is up 9″ in the past year and Lake Ontario is 13″ higher than it was one year ago. Lake Erie is 2″ above the century Sept. average and Lake Ontario is now 6″ higher than the long-term average.
Of course, if you were reading The Guardian or the Charlotte Star, you read a story that was quite outdated and had the usual climate change hyperbole. Their article says: “As the lakes slowly dry up, billions of dollars generated by industry and tourism are at risk.”
Lazy and/or biased reporting here. You can get the weekly Great Lakes water levels here and as you can see, the Great Lakes are not “slowly drying up”. Here’s Lake Michigan water levels from 1918-2010. You can see the level goes up and down and bears no resemblance to the slow, steady rise of atmospheric CO2. Side note…a quote from H.L Mencken: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”