Great Lakes evaporation study dispels misconceptions, points to need for expanded monitoring program
ANN ARBOR — The recent Arctic blast that gripped much of the nation will likely contribute to a healthy rise in Great Lakes water levels in 2014, new research shows. But the processes responsible for that welcome outcome are not as simple and straightforward as you might think.
Yes, extreme winter cold increases ice cover on the Great Lakes, which in turn reduces evaporation by preventing water vapor from escaping into the air. But this simplistic view of winter ice as a mere “cap” on Great Lakes evaporation is giving way to a more nuanced conception, one that considers the complex interplay among evaporation, ice cover and water temperature at different times of year. (more…)