Friday, September 14, 2007

Lake Superior Reaches Record Low

As if we need another reminder of the effects of Global Warming, a new report has just been released by the U.S. great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory to Reuters News that shows because of warmer, drier weather coupled with alterations to the waterways of North America's Great Lakes, Lake Superior will likely fall to record low water levels sometime this year, experts say.

Lake Superior, the world's largest body of fresh water by surface area, has declined precipitously over the last decade but plunged down another 30 cm (1 foot) in the last year alone amid an "extreme drought," putting pressure on both commercial shipping and fish habitats.

"That's a dramatic fall," Cynthia Sellinger, a hydrologist at the U.S. Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, told Reuters. "Lake Superior has been in and out of an extreme drought since 2003, and now the drought has got more extreme on the lake's western basin."

Lakes Huron and Michigan, into which Superior flows, are similarly low -- down 1 meter (3.3 feet) in the last ten years -- leaving dried out marshes and even some inaccessible ports.
Meanwhile, some of the shallows and riverbeds used by fish species such as salmon and trout for spawning have dried up.

In the last 30 years, precipitation has decreased while evaporation has increased, leading to higher water temperatures in the three upper Great Lakes. Lakes Erie and Ontario are the lower of the five, which make up the world's second-largest body of unfrozen, fresh water behind Russia's deep Lake Baikal.

Average spring temperatures in northwestern Ontario, the Canadian shoreline of Lake Superior, were at least 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal this year. The warmer temperatures melt ice on the lake, which results in more water lost through evaporation. Iron ore and grain are among the biggest cargoes shipped on the lakes, which are connected to the Atlantic through the St. Lawrence Seaway's system of locks and canals, which opened in 1959, allowing ocean-going vessels into the industrial heartland of North America.

In 1962, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deepened the St. Clair River channel by 0.6 meters (2 feet) to accommodate commercial shipping. U.S. and Canadian governments planned to construct underwater sills to stem the flow, but never did because water levels in the upper lakes rose to record highs in the 1970s. Now ships bound for destinations outside North America must carry lighter loads and forfeit freight revenue for every inch the water level drops. Could this fall in the level of the lake be yet another example of how man is changing the world's climates? To find out more about this important source of North America's fresh water go to:

Reserch info taken from an article by Jonathan Spicer at:

Now, here's some poems to read in the dinghy:

Incompetence, Changing Gear

perhaps on the slick
pavement of muffled
ice storms the car
wrecked where the snow
plow used to scrape
clear completely
unrelated joyrides
of exclusive foreplay
penned in the lover's hand
free admission
to the nineteen-fifty-seven
drive-in movie where
swallows the joke
leaving only the fear
as all the trees
are cut down

No Ordinary Dream, With Sex Boots

It was climbing out of a limestone quarry wearing sex boots
and a curly red wig under a spiral halo and waving a German
flag. It made seductive promises of all-night caf├ęs where I
could overdose on good intentions and order prime rib with an
egg yolk and lemon zest on top. I hate egg yolks. But I love
lemon zest and also cheese if it doesn't smell.

We found one and there was even a pinball machine you could
tilt hard. The regular waitress was on strike. Peaches took our
orders instead and brought us free biscuits. When I finished the
meal I felt like the longest track ever recorded in the history of
house music. The dessert specials were fresh lawn trimmings
with landscaping chips or fishing licenses. My dream ordered
licenses for both of us and they were tasty.

Poems first published online at:
Visit my ezine:
and music blog:

No comments: