The Great Lakes have receded from record high water levels in recent years. The amount of water that has left the Great Lakes is staggering.
Each Great Lake peaked in a different year, and each of the Great Lakes water levels dropped from there.
Lake Superior peaked 14 inches higher than current water level. Lake Superior’s record dates back to 2019. In three years, Lake Superior lost 7.7 trillion gallons of water.
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron act as one lake due to the large expanse of free-flowing water in the Strait of Mackinac. Lakes Michigan and Huron are 8 inches lower than this time last year and 25 inches from the 2020 record water level. So in just two years, Lakes Michigan and Huron hold 20 trillion gallons less water. Keep in mind that the globe uses about 10 trillion gallons of water in a year. Now you know why the Great Lakes are called the largest freshwater system in the world. The Great Lakes could literally produce enough water per year for the entire world.
Lake Erie is just an inch lower than this time last year, but 17 inches from its record high water level in 2020. That drop in water level represents 2.89 trillion gallons of water.
Lake Ontario has been the Great Lake with the most ups and downs in recent years. Lake Ontario passed its record high water mark in 2017. Since then, its level has dropped 24 inches. Lake Ontario now holds 3.12 trillion gallons less water than in the peak year of 2017.
In total, this means that the entire Great Lakes system has lost 33.7 trillion gallons in recent years.
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