Scientists at the Army Corps of Engineers, Environment Canada, and NOAA recently documented a record-setting surge in water levels on Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron that began in January 2013, and has continued through November 2014. The United States and Canadian federal agencies expect water levels to stay near or above average on all of the Great Lakes over the next six months.
Deborah H. Lee, the chief of water management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, has been named the new director of NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL). Lee is slated to begin on December 1, 2014.
While people along our nation’s coast experience rising sea levels, residents along the Great Lakes – the Earth’s largest lake system – are adapting to the opposite problem: chronic low water levels and a receding shoreline.
In a perspective now running in Science magazine, Drew Gronewold, a hydrologist at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, says “the record low water levels in Lake Michigan-Huron in the winter of 2012 to 2013 raise important questions about the driving forces behind water level fluctuations and how water resource management planning decisions can be improved.”
Independence Day is right around the corner, and Michigan's Lake St. Clair residents and tourists are gearing up for a holiday weekend filled with fishing, swimming and boating activities. Beach managers can now view NOAA water quality predictions in real-time, instead of waiting 24 hours as before, to make timely decisions to safeguard public health and avoid unnecessary beach closures.
Visitors to Lake Huron this summer may have a unique opportunity to glimpse science in action. During July and September, scientists will crisscross Thunder Bay, Saginaw Bay, and the open waters of Lake Huron, collecting samples of sediment, water, mussels, microscopic organisms, and fish.
On Wednesday, March 14, two NOAA scientists will take questions over Twitter about ice cover on the Great Lakes over the past few months and on the long-term trends.
NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab has monitored ice cover on the lakes for decades. Its measurements have documented wide variations from winter to winter and made possible discoveries about climate links to variation in ice cover.
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.