Winter Ice on Lakes, Rivers, Ponds: A Thing of the Past?
Planning to ice skate on a local lake or river this winter? You may need to think twice, say scientists J. Magnuson, O. Jensen and B. Benson of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Their research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Data came from newspaper archives, transportation ledgers and religious observances. From NSF News:
The records show that later freezing and earlier ice breakup occurred on lakes and rivers across the Northern Hemisphere from 1846 to 1995. Over those 150 years, said Magnuson, changes in freeze dates averaged 5.8 days per 100 years later, and changes in ice breakup dates averaged 6.5 days per 100 years earlier. The findings translate to increasing air temperatures of about 1.2 degrees Celsius each century.
In contrast to the observation that climate changes are occurring more rapidly at higher latitudes, said Benson, the greatest rate of change in ice breakup dates in the Great Lakes region is happening at lower latitudes, near the southern boundary of the area in which lakes are routinely ice-covered during winter.
Depending on how your browser is set, a picture might show up here:
Ice cover on northern lakes across the U.S. has formed later each winter.
Credit and Larger Version (this link is not working all the time for me)
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