Lake Superior almost completely frozen over

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Cool story on the near-ice over of Lake Superior going on right now: HERE

Areas of open water were visible Thursday from Duluth, which is normal as the lake ice builds and shifts. Even in 1996, pockets of open water lingered after “virtual ice-over” was officially declared.

If this winter’s cold trend continues, Leshkevich said the lake will virtually freeze over, as it last did in 1996. But he’s not willing to go out on a limb and predict a total freeze-over.

“If it warms up later in February, or we get a lot of wind, then things can change pretty fast,” Leshkevich said. “It’s all dependent on the weather, and I don’t predict that.”

Ice coverage on the western end of Lake Superior photographed Feb. 6 by NASA's Terra satellite.
Ice coverage on the western end of Lake Superior photographed Feb. 6 by NASA’s Terra satellite.

On the other hand, don’t read the comments section. More global warming jokes because it happens to be a cold winter. Seriously, time continues to march on, but the utter lack of understanding of the difference between weather (which involve individual events) and climate (which involve the totals, averages and extremes of those events over some period of time; usually years) continues. The fact that it happens to be cold winter with Lake Superior (for example) experiencing an unusual amount of sea ice over doesn’t take away from the fact that the average temperature of the Earth is continuing a general warming trend (as seen over the scale of hundreds to thousands of years). With all the policy issues involving understanding of global warming, a basic weather and climate course should be required of all students in high school or college (among other important environmental classes which would serious help our society appreciate these issues a lot better). Oh well, too much to ask I suppose…

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