Great Lakes Are Rising

Published August 1, 2009

Great Lakes water levels are on the rise, putting the damper on media reports claiming global warming has been causing declining water levels.

Water levels for each of the Great Lakes are rising. Water levels in Lakes Huron and Michigan have risen a full foot since 2008.

Great Lakes water levels rose during the second half of the twentieth century but experienced a short-term decline from the late 1990s through the middle of this decade. Alarmists blamed that on global warming.

Wet, cooler weather in the past 18 months has brought Great Lakes water levels back to within 5 inches of their long-term average.

Global Warming Link Asserted

Media sensationalism about the short-term decline reached a fever pitch in 2007, with sources such as National Geographic News, Scientific American, and the Associated Press all publishing articles asserting global warming could be to blame. The articles failed to mention temperatures in the Great Lakes region were declining, as they were around the globe, during the time the water level was falling.

With water levels rising again, media coverage of Great Lakes water levels has died down.

‘Where’s the Media’ Now?

Russ Harding, senior chief environmental policy analyst at Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy, expressed frustration at the slanted hype regarding Great Lakes water levels.

“I found it astonishing and somewhat irritating that the media was so anxious to tout the story of the lake levels being low, when they can link it to global warming. Bottom line is there really isn’t anything new here. There’s been rising and lowering of water levels for the last 100 years,” Harding said.

In the 1980s, Harding notes, Great Lakes levels were so high residents were worried about erosion of their property. Now, Harding wants to know, “Where’s the media when the water levels are rising? They’re up and no one is reporting it.”

Penny Rodriguez ([email protected]) writes from Parrish, Florida.