CNN's Rachel Ramirez is reporting on the Great Lakes and climate change.
The Great Lakes have begun the new year with record-low ice cover, the least in at least 50 years. As of New Year's Day, only 0.35% of the lakes were iced, far below the nearly 10% historical average. This is part of a broader trend in the U.S., where warming temperatures due to the climate crisis are leading to reduced snowpacks and snow droughts. Since 1973, peak ice coverage in the Great Lakes has been decreasing by about 5% per decade. This year’s low ice levels are attributed to consistently above-average air temperatures in the region, with December temperatures soaring 8 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Cities like Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, and Duluth experienced their warmest Decembers on record. The lack of ice has varying implications: it can extend the shipping season, benefiting the industry, but also causes challenges such as increased shoreline erosion and more severe snowstorms due to lake-effect snow. While ice levels may still increase with any prolonged cold spells, the trend suggests a future with less ice cover on the Great Lakes.
(This article was written with assitance from ChatGPT)