"Mother Nature Rules The Globe"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, October 10, 2015

Mother Nature must be agitated and angry at some of the world’s inhabitants. She seems to be showing us we have to learn to live with the water. My meaning is: those who have homes near the water’s edge must be prepared for the worst.

Those living in Michigan on the water know they need to be prepared to deal with giant waves measuring six to eight feet breaking along its shores. Low water levels the past few years have lulled people into complacency because storms haven’t reached homes along the water.

Many homeowners actually complained saying, “We have lost our wonderful, sandy beach.”

Many properties where breakwalls had been erected saw them collapse which caused grave concerns. People worried the water would continue to recede and some even sold their homes because of the conditions. Causes for the low water were speculated including theft and siphoning of it to sell to drought-stricken areas of the country.

A tale circulated that population increases had caused too many water systems to drain water from our lakes for human use. Some believed water bottling companies, eager for higher profits, were actually selling Great Lakes fresh water by the bottle. The best story I heard, which I have commented on in the past: dredging efforts in the St. Clair River resulted in digging too deep and lake waters were draining out the hole.

While those on the Great Lakes have worried about looting of their water, oceanside dwellers worried water levels creeping up their sandy beaches would wash them out to sea.

Worldwide concerns about global warming have for years caused grave concerns and much additional speculating about the causes. I visited Alaska in 2007 and was aboard a cruise ship in Glacier Bay. A group of us were on the observation deck gazing at several majestic glaciers. Two federal Alaskan rangers were alongside me and they pointed out how ice was calving and sliding into the waters to melt. They asked that we direct our view in an opposite direction to a group of glaciers that had just formed telling us they had never been observed before.

Recalling the Rangers demonstration that when we lost ice, new ice formed I continued to wonder about claims of global warming. As the years pass, ideas pro and con have been presented to consider. Some theories make sense while others are considered myths.

My winter home faces a small harbor area and I have observed the water rise and fall with the tidal movements in and out of the basin. Judging the difference is difficult because during times of high tide and high winds, the basin fills to its rim. In the spring and fall when extreme tides occur, if winds are strong during high tide, water flows into low areas. The recent “super moon” event was an extreme example and water overflowed the land.

I am beginning to believe the warnings of global warming. Many of those suffering the recent storms along the East Coast must also be believers. An area I’m familiar with, Miami Beach, saw extreme high tides caused by the moon phase and strong tropical winds. Ocean waters washed ashore flooding roadways and causing serious beach erosion.

The tropical storm, combined with the passing hurricane caused heavy rainfalls and subsequent flooding. As the storm lingered for over a week, areas that had never experienced high water and floods, set records. Damage to property along the eastern shoreline from Florida to New Jersey was extensive. Salt water flooding causes greater concerns than fresh water events so cleanups will be difficult.

As I see it, all of us in the Thumb have watched our neighbors to the south and east suffer Mother Nature’s wrath as we complained about the windy, cold conditions we experienced the past week. Backlash from the severe storms are given as the cause. The strong winds and high seas put an abrupt halt to fishing and boating on the water but that extended season was drawing to a close. Perhaps we can yet experience our fall colors and warmer days of Indian summer.

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