Year 4, Month 9, Day 3: Twenty-Five Or Six To Four

The Superior Telegram (WI) on Lake Superior’s ongoing transformation:

Researchers say even Lake Superior, the largest lake connected to the state, is feeling the effects of climate change.

Swimming in Lake Superior has never been easy without a wetsuit, but if you’re going in with just a swimsuit late August is usually one of the best times. On a hot day near Marquette, Mich. last weekend, three college students jumped off what are called the Black Rocks and into the relatively cool water. Even a visiting journalist took the plunge.

As refreshing as a brief swim in the big lake might be, scientists and advocates say there appear to be trouble signs for the waters. In some of the last few years Lake Superior’s average daily temperatures in August have been around 70 degrees, well above 30-year averages.

Last year, Marquette had its first ever beach closure tied to E. coli bacteria, which is often linked to warmer lake temperatures. Winter ice cover is also down.

Generating letter after letter today, trying to get ahead of the game. August 29:

The heating of Lake Superior is a local manifestation of a global phenomenon. All across the globe, people are figuring out that things ain’t what they used to be, climatically speaking. Regions that require glacial melt for their water are looking at increasingly arid futures, while citizens of island nations are getting ready for the day rising seas turn their homelands into historical footnotes. And, closer to home, people who live on the shores of America’s largest lake are discovering that industrial civilization’s century-long fossil-fuel binge has some serious consequences right in their own neighborhoods.

But the USA is unique among nations in that many of its citizens reject the existence of climate change entirely. We can sympathize with the denialists’ reluctance to accept that the greenhouse effect will disrupt their lives in countless unpredictable and complex ways (after all, nobody looks forward to planetary catastrophe), but future generations on the shores of an ice-free Lake Superior will deplore their inaction.

Warren Senders


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