For Friday, Dec. 2, 2016[audio https://dl.dropbox.com/s/qf7mohqej0lpjhf/ENV%20REPORT%2012-2-16%20mrgreatlakes.mp3]
1 – The Great Lakes are part of one climate system, although they differ greatly from one another.
A new integrated computer model brings together climate and water information for the Great Lakes region. It will be useful for climate predictions, dealing with invasive species and other environmental research.
Michigan Technological University helped develop the model, along with the federal Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab in Ann Arbor, and other organizations.
A researcher says knowing the warming trend is an important concept in climate change modeling, along with understanding that extreme events become more severe.
The new model will help researchers better understand the connection between air and water in the Great Lakes.
The model’s accuracy was vetted by comparing its simulations to historical records and satellite data.
2 – The temperatures of the Great Lakes were the warmest in six years for late November.
Surface temperatures in November 2016 were several degrees warmer than at the same time two years ago.
Data for Saginaw Bay shows temperatures in the 40s and 50s for Nov. 30.
With winter on its way, warm lake waters and cold winds blowing across them will be a perfect combination for lake-effect snow, according to officials with the federal Coastwatch program.
The last time the lakes were this warm, in November of 2010, lake surfaces remained mostly ice free for the entire winter.