THUNDER BAY – The saling season's getting longer for a Minnesota family that circles the Great Lakes giving presentations on climate change.
They're using that extra time to warn more coastal communities that rising temperatures impact local ecosystems.
The Gordon family arrived in Thunder Bay Saturday on their tour of Lake Superior, accompanied by a crew of interns and college students from the lake's coastal schools.
Katya Gordon explained during Sunday's presentation that over three years, they've observed warming surface temperatures and earlier lake thaws.
“We have seen an increase in the length of our season since we started sailing,” Gordon said.
“We used to never sail in the month of May, now we sail routinely in May and routinely in October.”
The students on board are trying to get to the bottom of climate change's impact on Canada's largest lake, conducting tests and sharing their findings at ports along the shore.
Their research may corroborate international water tests that are raising particular alarms for Lake Superior.
"There was a study done of 250 lakes similar to Lake Superior -- big deep lakes around the world -- and Lake Superior is one of the fastest warming lakes in the world. So it's changing."
The family’s presentation also discusses possible solutions to reverse climate change and save the Great Lakes.
“We believe solutions come from every level. We discuss little things people can do, things people can do as a community or as a school,” Gordon said.
“(Those actions are) not transforming our world fast enough so we also talk about putting a price on carbon, specifically this legislation called carbon fee and dividend.”
Carbon fee and dividend is a climate change solution created by Citizens’ Climate Lobby to account for the costs of burning fossil fuels.
Gordon believes the carbon fee is the answer that will bring about other solutions.
“This is important for us personally. We love Lake Superior and we want it to stay clean, clear and cold.”