Lake Superior is warming faster than any of the other Great Lakes. In fact, it’s warming faster than any lake on the planet.
The lake itself, in the past three decades, has warmed some six degrees Fahrenheit — a rate that actually exceeds the melting rate of the ice caps in the Antarctic and the Arctic oceans. Lake Superior is the largest, deepest and coldest of all the Great Lakes, so it's somewhat counter-intuitive that it would be warming faster. But James Kitchell, an emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, says it's precisely because of the size.
With all of that surface area, the lake absorbs solar radiation and warms, he said.
"When there’s ice on the lakes, a lot of that solar energy is reflected back into the atmosphere, but in the most recent three decades, the duration of ice on the lake has reduced by as much as 50 percent or more," he said. "The result is that more solar radiation enters and stays in the water column, and the lake warms more quickly."