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  • Context (DTE): For the second consecutive year, the Great Lakes, Earth’s largest freshwater ecosystem, have experienced historically low ice levels.
  • Above-average temperatures and reduced Arctic air blasts contribute to diminishing ice cover.
  • Great Lakes of North America are a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in North America that connect to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River.

Great lakes of North America

  • The five lakes are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, and they are generally on or near the Canada–United States border.
  • Hydrologically, Michigan and Huron are a single body of water joined at the Straits of Mackinac.
  • The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total area and are second-largest by total volume, containing 21% of the world’s surface freshwater by volume.
  • Because of their sea-like characteristics, such as rolling waves, sustained winds, strong currents, great depths, and distant horizons, the five Great Lakes have long been called inland seas.
  • Lake Michigan is the largest lake in the entire country.
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