Beautiful NASA Satellite Photo of the Great Lakes Over 80% Covered in Ice


Taken on February 19th (and available in high-resolution here) the satellite image above shows what the great lakes look like when over 80% of their surface is covered in ice. The image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, and beyond being nice to look at, it shows just how harsh the last couple of months have been in North America.

According to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), rarely do they see more than 80% of the lakes iced over. In fact, this amount of ice on the lakes (88% at its peak) hasn’t been seen since 1994. For more info or if you’d like to see more satellite images of the lakes covered in ice, head over to NASA’s Earth Observatory website by clicking here.

Image credits: Photographs courtesy of NASA

  • Jimmy Fartpants

    Cool image. And what the heck happened to Lake Erie? It appears to be completely friozen over and covered in snow? It’s like it’s not even there.

  • Rob Elliott

    I think there is heavy cloud cover over top of it, but it is heavily covered in ice.

  • Jimmy Fartpants

    Ah yes. That could be it. I’m not a smart man.

  • sum_it

    NASA should really say “cheese” beforehand so I can wave back. I wasn’t ready!

  • Swade

    Global warming at its finest.

  • alexcookemusic

    Lake Erie, being the shallowest, tends to freeze the quickest.

  • Scott Eastman

    Greetings from north of the Wall!

  • Dr. James F. Hansen

    I love these kinds of comments because they display such an astonishing lack of understanding of science, and yet such an American self-centered attitude. “It’s snowing & cold where I am, so this Global Warming thing must be fake!” Forgetting that the key word here is “Global”.

    The rest of the planet actually just experienced the 4th warmest January on record.

  • 3ric15

    Ignorance at it’s finest ^^

  • mthouston

    Great Image….as a Michigander…I’m over it…ready fer SPRING…

  • Tom Stockum

    Dr. Hansen,

    I have 2 questions:

    First) Solar Activity in the recently ended Modern Maxima has been at levels not seen in nearly 1000 years. Carbon Dioxide is currently at 400 parts per million. This is an increase of approximately 220 parts per million since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Why is Solar Activity not included as a significant contributor to Global Climate Change in typical research?

    Second) Please explain why a 1 day record of Global Temperature is any more significant than a recent near record ice year in the Great Lakes. Both appear as single points of data without relevance to the overall debate on Climate Change?

    Thank you,

    Tom Stockum

  • Asok Asus

    You can just imagine how much worse the ice pack would be if it wasn’t for global warming.