Researching Climate Change and Lake Superior

We recently sat down with Dr. Jay Austin, who researches physical limnology (the study of lakes) with a focus on Lake Superior ice cover and the impact of climate change.

Askov Finlayson Article: Researching Climate Change and Lake Superior 


Climate change is real. It has effects globally but also locally. It can be difficult to communicate this, because the natural, year-to-year variability tends to be large compared to the climate change signal. How do you convince somebody that the fact that it's going to be a couple degrees warmer by mid-century is important when it’s 10F warmer today than yesterday, or after the harsh winter of 2014? My answer would be that Superior, for instance, is extremely sensitive to these long-term changes, and we are heading, within our lifetimes, towards an era where ice on the lake will be considered unusual.