Nobel Prize Laureate for his climate change work, Dr. Henry Pollack of Ann Arbor, MI shares why Lake Michigan is close to his heart and why understanding and solving climate change in the Great Lakes is a critical and urgent priority.
My name is Henry Pollack. I’m a Professor of Geophysics at the University of Michigan and my research in the last several decades has been on global climate change.
I got married on the shores of Lake Michigan in Ludington. It was not a summer time wedding it was a January wedding and snow was well above the waistline, ice was all along the shore of Lake Michigan.
Since that time in January of 1963 I've been watching the shores of Lake Michigan every season to see how the ice is returning and what one sees is a general decline in the presence of wintertime ice on the Lakes. In Grand Traverse Bay for instance, these last two decades, there have been only four years where Grand Traverse Bay froze over. A century ago, the same two decades there were only four years where it didn't freeze over. So we're seeing long-term changes in the ice cover of Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes.
All in all, in a half century of observing the Great Lakes, the subtle impacts of climate change have become very apparent, and are very real, and it is a product of a very long-term love affair with the Great Lakes Ever since I was married on the shores of Lake Michigan in January of 1963.