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Hum

CHEBOYGAN, Mich. (AP) ? From the bridge of the Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, northern Lake Huron looks like a vast, snow-covered field dotted with ice slabs as big as boulders ? a battleground for the icebreaker's 58-member crew during one of the roughest winters in memory.

It's been so bitterly cold for so long in the Upper Midwest that the Great Lakes are almost completely covered with ice. The last time they came this close was in 1994, when 94 percent of the lakes' surface was frozen.

As of Friday, ice cover extended across 88 percent, according to the federal government's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.

Sections of the lakes, which hold nearly one-fifth of the freshwater on the world's surface, harden almost every winter. That freezing keeps the Coast Guard's fleet of nine icebreakers busy clearing paths for vessels hauling essential cargo such as heating oil, salt and coal. But over the past four decades, the average ice cover has receded 70 percent, scientists say, probably in part because of climate change.

Still, as this season shows, short-term weather patterns can trump multi-year trends. Winter arrived early and with a vengeance and refuses to loosen its grip.

"That arctic vortex came down, and the ice just kept going," said George Leshkevich, a physical scientist with the federal lab.

The deep freeze is more than a novelty. By limiting evaporation, it may help replenish lake water levels ? a process that began last year after a record-breaking slump dating to the late 1990s. Also getting relief are cities along the lakes that have been pummeled with lake-effect snow, which happens when cold air masses suck up moisture from open waters and dump it over land.

Despite the inconvenience, there's a silver lining for shippers. Since the low-water period began in late 1990s, they've been forced to carry lighter loads to avoid scraping bottom in shallow channels and harbors. Heavy snow and rain in 2013 finally raised water levels.

Ice cover blocks evaporation, the leading cause of low water. It also will keep the lakes cooler for a longer time this year, delaying the onset of heavy evaporation season, scientist John Lenters reported in a paper last month, although the benefit is partially offset by stepped-up evaporation shortly before the ice forms.

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DocM

The 15-20 foot piles of plowed snow & ice in shopping center lots may not fully melt until May, and we have 2 more days of snow predicted for Sunday and Monday.

Reports of potholes everywhere, and sinkholesat some water main breaks. Some main breaks flooded blocks at a time then froze right up, trapping cars and isolating the neighborhoods.

There was footage on the news of a Detroit police car whose occupants had to be evacuated through the car windows into a big front loaders scoop.

It took road demo equipment to clear the ice.

20140207115526_05-MainBreak.JPG

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24388416_SA.jpg

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Hum

Maybe we can es-skate to Canada. :p

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Arachno 1D

So whos going to be the first to blame the cold and rain on "global warming"?

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exotoxic

So whos going to be the first to blame the cold and rain on "global warming"?

 

Well it's global climate change, the warming effect means the atmosphere will hold more water which will lead to more intense rainfall and where it is cold enough to snow more intense snowfall. The added warmth also gives storms/hurricanes more energy. In the future we can expect bigger, stronger more extreme storms than we currently have :)

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DocM

I love how the debate gets framed,

If it's too cold it's GW

If it's too hot it's GW

If it's a flood it's GW

If it's a drought it's GW

If there are storms it's GW

If there are no storms it's GW

If everything happens once it's GW

If nothing happens at all it's GW

Etc.

Yes there is a slight rise, but at a recent conference everyone agreed there's nothing we can do even if we go back to the horse, buggy and candles, so we should just get over it and adapt.

Also, the interglacial warming maximum was about 5,000 years ago so we should be on a cooling trend, heading into the next ice age. I for one am glad that whatever warming there is has mitigated that.

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Rigby

Yes there is a slight rise, but at a recent conference everyone agreed there's nothing we can do even if we go back to the horse, buggy and candles, so we should just get over it and adapt.

 

climate-hoax.jpg

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Arachno 1D

Well the Vietnamese boat people have a lot less to worry about

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+xrobwx71

So whos going to be the first to blame the cold and rain on "global warming"?

ABC, MSNBC, already have.

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McKay

I love how the debate gets framed,

If it's too cold it's GW

If it's too hot it's GW

If it's a flood it's GW

If it's a drought it's GW

If there are storms it's GW

If there are no storms it's GW

If everything happens once it's GW

If nothing happens at all it's GW

Etc.

Yes there is a slight rise, but at a recent conference everyone agreed there's nothing we can do even if we go back to the horse, buggy and candles, so we should just get over it and adapt.

Also, the interglacial warming maximum was about 5,000 years ago so we should be on a cooling trend, heading into the next ice age. I for one am glad that whatever warming there is has mitigated that.

 

All weather is global warming. All who doubt Man is responsible are heathens.

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+xrobwx71
TPreston
Astra.Xtreme

Crazy winter we're having.  I usually like winter, but I'm really sick of the -40 degree wind chills.

We got news that it would be near 40 degrees this week, BUT we have 7 inches of snow hitting today.  Spring can't come soon enough.

 

On a more interesting note, in a couple weeks I'm going to make the 6-7 hour trek up to the ice caverns at the Apostle Islands.

Since Lake Superior is frozen, people can walk to these ridiculous frozen caves.  It's a super rare chance to reach these and thousands of people are flocking up there every week.  Cool stuff.

 

ice-5.jpg

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Arachno 1D

Nice image

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Andre S.

I love how the debate gets framed,

If it's too cold it's GW

If it's too hot it's GW

What we're seeing is more quick variations between extreme temperatures, and a good hypothesis to explain that is changes in the jet stream due to fast warming of the Arctic. Scientists have been predicting that for a long time. See http://www.weather.com/news/science/environment/arctic-blast-linked-global-warming-20140106

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+therealDamien

nobody from this generation know that before the 80s some places had 20 feet or more of snow.

 

people had to drive through snow caverns the snow was so high.

 

 

 

this is all reaccuring 

 

its not gw. it mother f*** nature on pms

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theyarecomingforyou
 

I love how the debate gets framed,

If it's too cold it's GW
If it's too hot it's GW
If it's a flood it's GW
If it's a drought it's GW
If there are storms it's GW
If there are no storms it's GW
If everything happens once it's GW
If nothing happens at all it's GW

Nonsense. There is a vast wealth of scientific evidence to support such claims. Sticking your head in the sand doesn't change that. Outside of the US climate change isn't a controversial topic - it is widely accepted. The only debate is over what to do about it.

 

Yes there is a slight rise, but at a recent conference everyone agreed there's nothing we can do even if we go back to the horse, buggy and candles, so we should just get over it and adapt.

Again, nonsense. Countries like China, the US and Australia are producing ridiculous amounts of pollution, burning dirty fossil fuels with absolutely no regard for sustainability - you only have to look at the pollution in cities like Beijing and Los Angeles to see that. Everything is done in the name of short term economic gain. The reality is that what we are doing now is exacerbating the situation and will make the impact of climate change that much more severe. Cutting back on pollution won't prevent climate change but it certainly will mitigate the impact. To claim there is "nothing we can do" is offensively inaccurate. It's not just about climate change either, as pollution has been directly attributed to asthma, heart attacks and premature deaths.

 

Also, the interglacial warming maximum was about 5,000 years ago so we should be on a cooling trend, heading into the next ice age. I for one am glad that whatever warming there is has mitigated that.

Yet again, nonsense. We are still in an ice age, which means we have a long time until the next one. Every scientific assessment has confirmed that the temperature of the planet is increasing yet somehow you have come to the conclusion that the planet is actually cooling and that climate change has actually helped. It's preposterous. You have nothing to support your position - it's just a fanatical belief, a religion if you will.

 

Human well being should come before economic output. Always.

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Andre S.

Human well being should come before economic output. Always.

I like to frame it this way: the point of economic output is human well being. If it fails to achieve it or runs counter to it, then it's pointless.

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+virtorio

Yes, Global Warming is a contributor to what you're seeing here.

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theyarecomingforyou

I like to frame it this way: the point of economic output is human well being. If it fails to achieve it or runs counter to it, then it's pointless.

Indeed. The short-term economic gains being made now come at the expense of future generations, who will have to endure chronic resource shortages, rising sea levels and economic collapse. The sooner we transition to a sustainable, low carbon economy the more we can hope to mitigate the future impact of climate change. We cannot continue on as normal.

 

The temperatures being seen in Australia now weren't predicted to be reached until 2030, while the drought in California and floods in the UK are directly attributable to climate change (amongst other factors) and are likely to become much more serious going into the future. Even John Kerry has acknowledged climate change, which is significant considering how toxic the culture surrounding it is in the US (due largely to propaganda from organisations like Fox News and wealthy individuals like the Koch brothers).

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TAZMINATOR

Ohio river was frozen in 1977-78. My grandfather walked on it along with people.

 

I remember that the snow was up to about 20 inches.

 

My brother and I made an igloo in front of my grandparents' house..  When I got mad at my brother, I went to the igloo and torn it down.. lol

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HawkMan

So whos going to be the first to blame the cold and rain on "global warming"?

 

It's called climate change, an increase in average temperature is ONE symptom. Colder winters, less snow and rain and more and fiercer storms are some of the other symptoms. 

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DocM

Ohio river was frozen in 1977-78. My grandfather walked on it along with people.

I remember that the snow was up to about 20 inches.

My brother and I made an igloo in front of my grandparents' house.. When I got mad at my brother, I went to the igloo and torn it down.. lol

^^....this

1978 my parents (and other farmers) had to be extracted from their houses by the Michigan National Guard.

A tank with a snow blade cleared a path for an armored personnel carrier, which was followed by troops and snowmobiles. They were taken out the 2nd floor window, and some drifts were up to the power lines.

Similar conditions during my elementary school days, to the point it was easier to ride horses than drive, including to school.

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HawkMan

^^....this

1978 my parents (and other farmers) had to be extracted from their houses by the Michigan National Guard.

A tank with a snow blade cleared a path for an armored personnel carrier, which was followed by troops and snowmobiles. They were taken out the 2nd floor window, and some drifts were up to the power lines.

Similar conditions during my elementary school days, to the point it was easier to ride horses than drive, including to school.

 

And ? There was a lot more snow before. Just look at the last 20 years, when I was a kid some 20-25 years ago we had lots of snow here, you could build huge snow castles and caves. Today. not so much, go a bit further back, look at the war movies they shot right after the war, it was even more snow back then, you only need to look at pictures and actual war footage to show this as well. the last 50-60 years we have been gradually getting a lot less winter precipitation, meanwhile temperatures are rising so what we do get are more and more often coming in the form of rain or sub-frozen rain(not sure about the actual english word for that, but it sucks pretty bad if you're driving).

 

The climate is changing, saying anything else is ignorant. looking at the data and the curves and extrapolating how they should occur compared to what is actually happening and the speed of the changed, it's also fairly ignorant to say that SOMETHING isn't affecting these changes. There's only ONE something on this planet that can do it. 

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