What’s so great about the Great Lakes? – Cheri Dobbs and Jennifer Gabrys

What’s so great about the Great Lakes? They’re known as America’s inland seas. The North American Great Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior are so massive
that they border eight states and contain 23 quadrillion
liters of water. That’s enough to cover the land area
of the contiguous United States three meters deep. These vast bodies of water span forest, grassland, and wetland habitats, supporting a region that’s home to over
3,500 species. But how did such a vast and unique
geological feature come to be? The story begins near the end
of the last ice age over 10,000 years ago, a time when the climate was warming and the glaciers that cloaked the Earth’s
surface began their slow retreat. These immense ice sheets carved out
a series of basins. Those basins filled with water
as the ice began to melt, creating the world’s largest area
of freshwater lakes. Over time, channels developed between
these basins, and water began to flow in
an ongoing exchange that persists to this day. In fact, today,
the interconnected Great Lakes contain almost 20% of the world’s supply
of fresh surface water. The water’s journey begins in
the far north of Lake Superior, which is the deepest, coldest,
and clearest of the lakes, containing half the system’s water. Lake Superior sinks to depths
of 406 meters, creating a unique and diverse ecosystem
that includes more that 80 fish species. A given drop of water spends on average
200 years in this lake before flowing into Lake Michigan
or Lake Huron. Linked by the Straits of Mackinac,
these two lakes are technically one. To the west lies Lake Michigan, the third largest of the lakes
by surface area. Water slowly moves through
its cul-de-sac shape and encounters the world’s largest
freshwater dunes, many wildlife species, and unique fossilized coral. To the east is Lake Huron,
which has the longest shoreline. It’s sparsely populated,
but heavily forested, including 7,000-year-old petrified trees. Below them, water continues to flow
southeastwards from Lake Huron into Lake Erie. This lake’s status as the warmest
and shallowest of the five has ensured an abundance of animal life,
including millions of migrating birds. Finally, the water reaches its last stop
by dramatically plunging more than 50 meters down
the thundering Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario, the smallest lake
by surface area. From there, some of this well-traveled
water enters the St. Lawrence River, eventually reaching the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to being a natural wonder, the perpetually flowing Great Lakes
bring us multiple benefits. They provide natural water filtration, flood control, and nutrients cycling. By moving water across
more than 3,200 kilometers, the Great Lakes also provide drinking
water for upward of 40 million people and 212 billion liters a day
for the industries and farms that line their banks. But our dependence on the system is
having a range of negative impacts, too. The Great Lakes coastal habitats are being
degraded and increasingly populated, exposing the once pristine waters to industrial, urban,
and agricultural pollutants. Because less than 1% of the water
leaves the Lake’s system annually, decades-old pollutants still lurk
in its waters. Humans have also inadvertently introduced more than 100 non-native
and invasive species into the lakes, such as zebra and quagga mussels,
and sea lampreys that have decimated some indigenous
fish populations. On a larger scale, climate change
is causing the waters to warm, thus reducing water levels and changing
the distribution of aquatic life. Luckily, in recent years, governments have
started to recognize the immense value of this natural resource. Partnerships between the United States and
Canada are underway to reduce pollution, protect coastal habitats, and halt the spread of invasive species. Protecting something as massive
as the Great Lakes system will require the collaboration
of many organizations, but the effort is critical if we can preserve the wonder
of this flowing inland sea.

100 thoughts on “What’s so great about the Great Lakes? – Cheri Dobbs and Jennifer Gabrys

  • The "last ice age" hasn't ended, it is still current events.
    Climate change is a myth, temperatures and ice pack and glacier levels are almost identical to the 1920s.

  • Think about it the water for Niagara falls could have came all the way from lake superior. Look at.a map and look at that distance.

    And it could have taken years for it to arive.

  • And the weight of the lakes an be used to provide power to the people. A machine that uses hydro and atmospheric pressure for electricity generation as described in the book OUR WARS.

  • I was born, raised, and I’ve spent my entire life here in Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario. The Great Lakes have been an integral part of my life, and I spent a great deal of time exploring them all, I have literally drove from Toronto around all the Great Lakes, stopping off at every major city. It was the best trip I’ve ever had in my life, and I’ve been to every continent on earth, but as the saying goes, there’s no place like home, and nothing on earth could ever top the Great Lakes. It’s an incredible diverse region, One of the few places on earth that two countries meld into one, where the border becomes irrelevant, And we are almost 100,000,000 people come together, and share these natural wonders. (Google “Great Lakes megalopolis” for more details). Most people aren’t aware of just how massive these lakes are. It took me a month to drive around all the lakes, and encountered an unbelievably diverse selection of natural and man-made attractions, that are unique to the Great Lakes and nowhere else. I couldn’t imagine growing up in a city without a waterfront, these lakes are the reason so many of North America‘s greatest cities exist. In the early days, before there was even trains, the great lakes were, and still are, a transportation network connecting every major city on them, without those lakes cities like my home town, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Hamilton (Canada’s #1 steel production city). Detroit, Chicago, Buffalo, Rochester, etc., would not exist, and would never have been built in the first place. I particularly love the great lakes in the northern regions, as the waters remain pristine, and so clear you can see right to the bottom. They are a treasure trove for divers and nature lovers a like, with so many things to see and to do you could never do it all in one lifetime. There was even a time when many people wanted to break off from the United States and Canada Inc. create a new country, consisting of all those living around the Great Lakes, can you imagine that?

  • Lol they are still pushing the climate change will dry up the Great Lakes narrative. Right now they are in their 5th straight year of well above average levels.

  • The fact about the Great Lakes water levels dropping due to Climate Change is pretty much false as water levels in Lake Michigan were at around a 20-40 year high. Yes the Great Lakes are slightly warming due to Climate Change, explains why the whitefish are swimming deeper, but not at the rate that you may think.

  • My hometown Thunder Bay lives on top of Lake Superior it’s an important railway hub for grain in Canada, yet for some reason we don’t get passenger trains.

  • She mentioned how many fish species are in Lake Superior but never mentioned that Lake Erie produces more fish in it then all the other lakes combined due to how shallow it is & the food supply for the marine life. Right now there is over 10 Million walleye in the lake alone. In 2018 the walleye hatch was 3 times greater then ever on record. Only problem I see with that is it might deminish the perch population which is my favorite fish to catch & eat. Also being a Michganader my whole life of 58 yrs Canada has the rights to probably 30% of the great lakes. I do hate they have so much commercial fisheries on Lake Erie.

  • Canada is the 2nd biggest country in the world behind Russia, Canada has the worlds largest amount of fresh water in the world.

  • Hold up! So you're telling me that climate change created the Great Lakes!? Strange. Wait! You're also telling me that climate change has been around for hundreds of thousands of years? Crazy!

  • Michgan is a beautiful state plz don't kill it ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤🐢🐤🐔🐇🐐🐄🐑🐏🐖🐗🐘🐟🐌🐬🍅🍉🍑🍎🍓🌲🌳🌵🌷🍀🍁🍃🌺🌼🌿🌈❄❄⛄🌞

  • So like, when you mentioned how global warming is changing the water temperatures, did you mean the global warming that made the great lakes, or something else?

  • What I want to know is…. Why is Lake St. Clair not considered to be one of the "Great Lakes"? Is there some sort of "size requirement" that must be met in order to be considered a member? I mean just because it's smaller than the rest, that doesn't mean that it isn't an integral and absolutely necessary part of the system. And it's not really that small either.

    I mean the thing's like 25 miles across! If you look at it, standing on the shore, you can't really see all the way across, it kind of looks like a little ocean. And it's really quite beautiful. The bottom line is it's really all the same water. It's all a part of the same system. The Great Lakes are one system, they are all interconnected, and the water does flow between them.

    The water goes from lake Superior to Michigan to Huron, then down the St. Clair River, and into *Lake St Clair*, then down the Detroit river and through to lakes Erie and Ontario, and finally out through the Saint Lawrence Seaway. So yes, its one system, all connected. Lake St Clair should be a great lake!

  • lol they blame climate change in the lakes warming, making it sound like it’s man made climate change, but they say the ice age ended by the natural warming climate 🙄

  • The great lakes renewable water is in essence the outflow through the Saint Lawrence the 14th in terms of outflow. The Amazon has more water outflow than the next six rivers combined.

    There is a lot of water sitting in the lakes but some it has residence times of more than 100 years.

  • So-called climate change has been used to say that the Great Lakes will dry up due to droughts, yet this year they are all near record levels as they periodically go up and down through the years regardless of the leftist claims of climate change. If there really is a changing climate that threatens humanity and other life, then we should not be so flippant in such predictions and be more skeptical of such wild claims as any good scientist would be.

  • I love the great lakes mostly lake ontario cause i live in hamlin New York State and for some reason proud to live right down the street from it

  • What about those those giant lakes to the north in Canada. They're not as big but they're still pretty huge and collectively they'd hold more water than the great lakes and together with the great lakes they form a fricken line across the continent of North America. I want to learn about them.

  • Video said lake levels were low because of global warming.
    Lake levels are actually up, which is also attributed to global warming.
    Seems like people just like to scream “global warming”.

  • Your videos lead people to think the glaciers, in one pass, carved the lakes basins, when in fact the glaciers grew and receded many, many times in order to create the basins of the Great Lakes, which has been proven and confirmed by Geologists from around the world….but in a video less than five minutes, how much can you really cover?

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3i-YWx6mqo

    Watch our Funday at Lake Ontario. Subscribe and support us

  • In Michigan we call "climate change" the weather and seasons. The voice said due to "climate change" the Lake levels are falling. Wrong. They're at record high levels.

  • Once again the global warming narrative get their hyperbolic predictions wrong. This year the great lakes are in fact reaching record highs this year. If you don't believe me read the link I have posted from NOAA. I suppose global alarmists will switch back to the "global climate extremes" story to cover their BS story. https://research.noaa.gov/article/ArtMID/587/ArticleID/2451/Great-Lakes-water-levels-predicted-to-reach-record-highs-this-year

  • Great picture I'm going to post it to.

    if you don't mind also click on a page if you want to check it out

  • A good portion of Superior was formed during the Keweenaw rift (a.k.a. "the mid continental rift"), not by glaciers. Also, the bedrock underneath Superior is still "rebounding" from the weight of the glacier being gone. It's rebounding faster there than in the south. So, the waters of Superior are draining into Huron and the rest of the system faster each day. Until a few thousands (or 10 of thousands) of years from now, when that bedrock slips hard and rattles the entire midwest (possibly creating some new lakes and rivers). Worse case scenario, the rift starts opening again and finishes its job of tearing the continent in half! At least we won't be around to see it …hopefully!

  • American education system working at its finest right there. No wonder they have zero geography knowledge when videos dont include all relevant information.

  • There is no analog/equal to the great lakes in teh world. that is the reason there is no analog/equal to Chicago in the world. These is no city with the economic, cultral, historical clout of Chicago because of the Great Lakes. there are several dozen "NYC's" in this world and while most don't reach that greatest in 100 years there will be several dozen cities that will pass NYC in every single way shape and form. In the same time you MAY (or may not) get a handful of cities that will match or just surpass Chicago. thats why i say Canada and the USA should untap the lakes full potential by building canals that give it access to the Arctic Sea – the Canadian Pacific – The Hudson (James Bay – St. Lawrence) – The Gulf of Mexico (Chicago Canal) and Minneapolis (Canal to Superior) and the Atlantic (widening the Erie Canal)

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