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New studies look at precipitation, evaporation and water levels on Great Lakes

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Two new studies -- including one by UW-Madison -- deal with the connection between precipitation, evaporation, and water levels in the Great Lakes.  

The UW study indicates that large scale patterns in the atmosphere no longer affect the ups and downs of water levels. A slump began in those patterns in the late 1990's -- and researchers are not sure why.

Meanwhile, the Michigan consulting firm of LimnoTech said ice on the Great Lakes does not just act as a cap that limits winter evaporation.  

Lead writer John Lenters said the ice also cools lake temperatures, and it helps delay the onset of evaporation. Still, Lenters said heavy evaporation can take place on the Great Lakes shortly before the ice forms each winter.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)