Points North: Winter ice will become a memory on many Michigan lakes

Jan 21, 2021


Up until the 1980s, Grand Traverse Bay would freeze over most winters. That’s no longer the case. On Jan 21 the bay’s water was almost 39 degrees, the warmest recording from this time of year in a decade.
Credit Max Johnston / IPR News

Grand Traverse Bay and inland lakes across Michigan, like Lake Leelanau and Torch Lake, will be ice-free by the end of the century if carbon emissions continue at current levels. 



That’s according to research at York University, which looked at historical ice cover and weather records from Grand Traverse Bay and lakes all over the world to predict when lake ice might be permanently lost.


This loss of ice cover is one of the earliest observed impacts of climate change.


And if you’ve kept records of lake ice and want to share the data with researchers, you can get in touch with ecologist Alex Filazzola at the University of Toronto.