Global Warming Myths Debunked – Great Lakes Freeze Over

Lake Superior is freezing over

7 03 2009

Lake Superior last froze over in 2003. It has now, again, frozen over. The frequency of freeze overs has historically been around once every 20 years. Now, in the last decade, we have seen two freeze overs.

The picture below is a beautiful satellite photo of Lake Superior from yesterday. With the well below freezing temperatures seen over the region Thursday night (-20 F), any isolated open water could have frozen.

Lake Superior satellite image

The NWS in Marquette MI writes:

Due to the recent cold spell and below normal temperatures for much of the winter of 2008-2009, ice covers nearly all of Lake Superior. Only small areas of open water remain. This image was taken on Tuesday, March 3rd. If arctic air does not return in the next couple of weeks, it is likely that this will be the day of maximum ice cover on Lake Superior for this winter as warmer weather and periods of stronger winds through the end of this week will cause open water areas to expand. Click on the image to view a higher resolution satellite picture (image is large — just under 1mb).

Lake Superior will freeze completely over approximately once in 20 years. When looking at past statistics ice coverage is measured in percentages. According to the Great Lakes Aquarium, Lake Superior froze over nearly 100 percent in 1996 96 percent in 1994 and about 95 percent in 1972. The last records of complete ice coverage on the big lake is 1979 and 1962.

Published March 6, 2003

HOUGHTON, Mich. — Record-shattering cold temperatures threaten to freeze massive Lake Superior’s surface for the first time in more than two decades.


Great Lakes Freeze For First Time in More than a Decade

Three Great Lakes freeze over



A month of frigid weather leads to 24-inch icecap

Reuters News Service, March 12, 2003

TORONTO  Three of North Americas Great Lakes  Lake Huron, Lake Superior and Lake Erie  have frozen over for the first time in nearly a decade after icy weather lasting more than a month, experts at Environment Canada said on Tuesday.

A month of temperatures below minus 4 Fahrenheit has caused an ice blanket averaging as much as 24 inches on the lakes, creating problems for shipping companies and ferries.

“The large lakes freeze once every decade,” said John Falkingham, chief of forecast operations, at the Canadian Ice Service, which is part of Environment Canada. “A sustained long, cold spell causes such an extensive ice cover.”


That frigid weather continued into March. Last week, the temperature fell below minus 13 Fahrenheit in southern Ontario, the coldest March in a century, according to Environment Canada.

The cold weather has affected the St. Lawrence Seaway, which will now open on March 31, almost a week behind schedule, said Ivan Lantz, director of marine operations for the Shipping Federation of Canada, an organization of ship owners and agents involved in the overseas trade.

“My estimate is that before the 15th of April, shipping is going to be very difficult,” Lantz said.


3 Responses

  1. […] Global Warming Myths Debunked – Great Lakes Freeze Over …SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Global Warming Myths Debunked – Great Lakes Freeze Over …”, url: “” }); […]

  2. […] Global Warming Myths Debunked – Great Lakes Freeze Over, Mcauleysworld’s Web log […]

  3. Ships Monthly has a photograph of North American seaways frozen stopping ship passage just as the good ol’ days of the ice breakers 1950s, spectacular scene, fascinating technology and dangerous work, so 60 years on as the weather rotates around 30 60 year patterns the freeze starts again, it will be different, for example the big grain farms and rail heads, ore transports are now less frequent and larger, the farms are horse ranches, fur trade and oil and small towns gone, but freezing it is, General Wolfe.

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