Falling Water Levels in the Great Lakes

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As global temperatures and ocean levels rise, the water levels of the Great Lakes continues to fall. As the lakes hit their all time lowest level in global history in 2012, society remains ignorant to the imposing doom that lurks ahead. Since the Great Lakes make up the largest group of fresh water lakes on Earth and are responsible for approximately 21% of the Earth’s fresh water supply, this issue is becoming one of the largest environmental and economical issues our modern world faces. The effects of this issue include destroying animal habitats and a major economic market; shipping. Water levels in the Great Lakes have been dropping for the past fourteen years, but it wasn’t until boats were scraping the bottom of Lake Huron that people began to take notice. This terrible environmental issue has been dubbed a long term cycle of over evaporation and not enough precipitation to replenish the Lakes. Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology for the United States Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit has been monitoring this issue for a decade and has made startling discoveries, such as in 2012, he discovered Lake Michigan and Lake Huron’s water levels only rose four inches after winter, whereas the Lakes have been regularly recorded as gaining a foot of water after the winter season had ended. This amount of water added is not enough to maintain a proper water level during the dry, hot summer seasons that evaporate much water from the Great Lakes. While some scientists say that this is just a cycle that will adjust itself naturally, most experts that have been studying this phenomenon, such as Kompoltwicz, would agree that the issue has gone to far to properly correct. As the largest freshwater system on the planet, spreadin... ... middle of paper ... ...//www.epa.gov/glindicators/water/oxygenb.html> Mitchell, J. (n.d.). Down the Drain: The Incredible Shrinking Great Lakes. National Geographic. Retrieved January 13, 2014, from Pearson, M. (2013, January 17). New water lows for Great Lakes could drain local economies. CNN. Retrieved January 13, 2014, from http:// www.cnn.com/ 2013/01/13/ us/great-lakes-low-water/ Rodman, K. (2013, July 3). United States. AccuWeather. Retrieved January 13, 2014, from http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/concerns-mount-as-great-lake-l/14834545 Schwartz, J. (2013, June 10). Water Levels Fall in Great Lakes, Taking a Toll on Shipping. The New York Times. Retrieved January 13, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/11/us/great-lakes-shipping-suffers-as-water-levels-fall.html?_r=1&

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