Several experts and studies from throughout the Great Lakes are citing climate change factors including lower average rainfall and higher temperatures as the reasons for lower water levels in the Great Lakes.

From ABC News:

“As water surface temperatures and evaporation rates continue to rise, low water is likely to be a long-term problem despite significant improvement this year following heavy snows in winter and a rainy spring, according to testimony during the annual meeting of the Great Lakes Commission.

‘Water levels go up and down,’ said Scudder Mackey, coastal management chief with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. ‘It’s a natural process, something that we have to learn to live with.’

Levels have been mostly below normal on all five Great Lakes since the late 1990s, but the drop-off has been most severe on Huron and Michigan, which scientists consider one lake because they are connected.

Huron-Michigan has jumped 20 inches since January, exceeding its usual seasonal rise, said Keith Kompoltowicz, a meteorologist with the Detroit office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Still, it remains 17 inches below its long-term average. Lake Superior is also slightly below its long-term average, while Lakes Erie and Ontario have exceeded theirs.”

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