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Great Lakes Warming!
In the past two and a half decades, lakes in the Northern Hemisphere have warmed six times as rapidly as in any other period.
This fall, the water temperatures on all five of the Great Lakes are hovering at record-high autumn levels, about a half dozen degrees above average. This comes after abnormally warm temperatures this past summer.
The record-warm water temperatures over the Great Lakes fit into a pattern of warming lakes all over the planet, forced upward as human-caused climate change pushes air temperatures to record highs.
Studies have found a pronounced warming trend over the past 100-plus years, and the lakes have warmed six times as fast in the past 25 years compared with any other period in the past century.
The warmer water temperatures are pushing the onset of ice to later in the year, as well as ending the ice season earlier. The study found that on average, lakes are losing about 17 days of ice cover per century. The lakes were freezing about 11 days later and thawing about seven days earlier.
Less ice cover means more lake water can evaporate, reducing the amount of freshwater available to aquatic organisms and people. Less ice also allows the surface of the lake to warm earlier and more intensely, resulting in more algal blooms that can sometimes contaminate the water for humans. Changes in ice cover also have an economic effect on those who use the lake for fishing, sports and transportation for goods.
Revisiting Ullr, the God of Ice & Snow
Editor’s Note: For years, Billy Market has spearheaded the ceremony of sacrificial lambs to the God of Ice and Snow, Ullr, so as to bring great ice conditions to the islands for winter fun and great ice fishing. Pagan islanders flock to these ceremonies on the shoreline between the Boardwalk and the Village’s public dock at the beginning of each cold season. These ceremonies are little more than debaucheries with food, adult beverages and fireworks, plus a burning of a sacrifice to Ullr that transcends the morality of civilization everywhere but on our island paradise. This year the group burned a trash can labeled 2021 in an effort to throw the year in the trash.
Billy Market and those islanders who bow down at a sacrificial ceremony to appease Ullr, the ancient God of Ice and Snow, each December might be out of sync with the times and praying to the wrong God. Quite honestly, all the ceremonies these last few years haven’t gotten terribly good results. As we see it, near-record warm weather and warming lake temperatures in the Great Lakes leave the island pagans with two choices when it comes to ice and snow.
The first choice is to make bigger and better sacrifices to Ullr. Mark Keiser’s creations are one-of-a-kind and very well built, but a blazing hot ceremony where they are burned to a crisp on the waters of Lake Erie is probably more suitable for a Devil than for a God who is trying to make ice and snow. Perhaps it’s time to get creative and give Ullr something bigger, better and freezing cold instead. How about ditching the “fake” sacrifices and replacing them with something “real” like in all the reality TV shows we’ve come to enjoy on TV. How about Mark building a huge ice cube and putting two islanders wearing swimsuits on it as everyone parties on shore for an hour or so? Then when the time comes they jump in the lake and swim to shore. Now that’s “reality!”
The second choice is to simply drop Ullr altogether and find a more modern God, the one in charge of Global Warming, whoever that might be, and ask him to cut it out and bring Global Warming to an end and bring ice and snow back to the Lake Erie Islands. Instead of a scorching fire that warms the atmosphere even more, perhaps a “cooler” laser light show would be in order.
Billy, you know how important it is to adapt to changing situations and times of stress. Do your idol-worshipping followers a favor and think out of the igloo for once. Come up with a better way to bring ice fishing and winter fun back to the Lake Erie Islands. If you’re successful in bringing back icy winters, you’ll be remembered for several island generations to come!
The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please click here.
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