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SCIENCE FILE / An exploration of issues and trends
affecting science, medicine and the environment | SCIENCE
IN BRIEF

Great Lakes Water Levels Show Spring Is Arriving Earlier

May 25, 2000

The annual springtime rise in water levels in the Great Lakes now arrives nearly a month earlier than it did 139 years ago, perhaps as a result of global warming, Wisconsin researchers say. The water levels rise as snow melts in the region, and the earlier appearance suggests that springtime is coming earlier in the year, climatologist John D. Lenters of the University of Wisconsin reported Wednesday at a meeting of the International Assn. of Great Lakes Research.

The greatest changes are in Lakes Ontario and Erie, Lenters said, based on his extensive study of records. Lake Ontario now reaches a peak that is as much as 22 inches higher than a century ago, a change in volume equivalent to 90 billion cubic feet of water.

--Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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