Great Lakes Ice Cover Among Worst in 40 Years

MarineLink.com
Friday, March 07, 2014

By Kim Palmer, Reuters

The Great Lakes saw some of their worst ice cover in nearly four decades because of a frigid winter with months of below-freezing temperatures in large sections of the northern United States, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration said.

As of Thursday, 92.2 percent of the five lakes were under ice, breaking a record set in 1973 but still short of the 94.7 percent set in 1979, the federal agency said.

The area under ice this winter covered about 86,000 square miles, which is a little bit larger than the state of Minnesota.

With a spring thaw approaching and temperatures warming, the 1979 record appears poised to stand for at least another year.

"We had lots of ice on the lakes early this year and then with the polar vortex at the end of December, we saw the ice continue to grow," said George Leshkevich, a physical scientist with NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

Four of the Great Lakes are more than 90 percent under ice, according to Leshkevich, something that has not happened since 1994. The 40-year average ice coverage for all the lakes is about 51 percent, the NOAA said.

The lone hold-out, Lake Ontario, has only 59 percent ice coverage because of its depth and smaller surface. The relatively shallower Lake Erie was 96 percent iced-over, it said.

With the increased ice coverage, the Coast Guard spent more time than usual rescuing snowmobilers who had ventured out onto the frozen surfaces, Coast Guard Petty officer Levi Read said on Friday.

Ice-breaking crews have been working almost non-stop helping to keep commercial waterways clear, with transport time increasing greatly because of the limited passage, Read said.

"We had a truck fall through the ice this year, but no one was in the truck at the time," Read said.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; editing by Gunna Dickson)

Maritime Reporter February 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Congestion is Port of Long Beach’s Toughest Issue

Slangerup’s State of the Port address outlines goals for Energy Island, smarter supply chain   In his first-ever State of the Port address, Port of Long Beach

BOEM Issues Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), announces the availability of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

European Shipping Week Announces Speakers

Adam Goldstein, President and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Pierfrancesco Vago, Chairman of CLIA Europe and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, and Paolo Tonon,

News

CMA CGM Opens Two Offices

CMA CGM Opens a new branch in Constantine, (Algeria) and an agency in Sihanoukville, (Combodia) Following are the addresses in the respective countries: CMA CGM Algérie,

Barril Appointed COO of SBM Offshore

SBM Offshore is pleased to announce the appointment of Philippe Barril as Chief Operating Officer (COO) effective March 1, 2015.  Philippe's appointment as a

MMEA Recover Hijacked Tanker

A hijacked Malaysian coastal tanker has been recovered by the prompt actions of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) off the coast of Malaysia. The

Coast Guard

MMEA Recover Hijacked Tanker

A hijacked Malaysian coastal tanker has been recovered by the prompt actions of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) off the coast of Malaysia. The

USCG Updates Rules for Arrival/Departure Notices, AIS

Final rule on vessel requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure and Automatic Identification System published in Federal Register   U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

Australia Bolsters SAR in Indian Ocean Region

AMSA leading program to strengthen search and rescue capabilities in Indian Ocean region   The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said it has commenced

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1371 sec (7 req/sec)