Scientists race to gather winter data on warming Great Lakes

By JOHN FLESHER AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Winter is changing across the Great Lakes region, and scientists want to know what that will mean.

Teams from more than a dozen U.S. and Canadian universities and government agencies will venture onto the frozen surfaces of all five lakes this month.

They'll take water samples from beneath the ice and measure characteristics such as light and nutrient levels.

Researchers acknowledge most of their work on the lakes happens during warmer seasons and they don't know much about what goes on in winter. They say it's important to learn more now, as global warming brings milder temperatures and may eventually make ice cover a rarity.

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