© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings (avail. Sunday after 8pm)

What does climate change mean for the Great Lakes?

A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls 2016 the warmest year on record around the globe.  The surface temperature of the Great Lakes was also above average -- and that's not good news.

Elizabeth Miller reports.

Brent Lofgren, a physical scientist at NOAA, says the twice annual overturning of the Great Lakes may stop due to the warming temperature.

"When that overturning happens, that brings nutrients up from the bottom of the lake and oxygen down from the top," said Lofgren. "With warming, there’s a likelihood that in certain parts of the Great Lakes, that overturning will stop happening."  

So aquatic life that rely on those nutrients could go hungry. 

Lofgren says in 2012 and 2017, significant parts of southern Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario didn’t overturn.

According to NOAA’s 2016 State of the Climate report, eight of the last 10 years have been among the warmest years on record, globally.

Copyright 2017 Great Lakes Today

Reporter/producer Elizabeth Miller joined ideastream after a stint at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she served as an intern on the National Desk, pitching stories about everything from a gentrified Brooklyn deli to an app for lost dogs. Before that, she covered weekend news at WAKR in Akron and interned at WCBE, a Columbus NPR affiliate. Elizabeth grew up in Columbus before moving north to attend Baldwin Wallace, where she graduated with a degree in broadcasting and mass communications.
Elizabeth Miller
Reporter/producer Elizabeth Miller joined ideastream after a stint at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she served as an intern on the National Desk, pitching stories about everything from a gentrified Brooklyn deli to an app for lost dogs. Before that, she covered weekend news at WAKR in Akron and interned at WCBE, a Columbus NPR affiliate. Elizabeth grew up in Columbus before moving north to attend Baldwin Wallace, where she graduated with a degree in broadcasting and mass communications.
Related Content