Lake Champlain Freezing Less Than Years Past

01/23/12 6:06AM The Associated Press

Lake Champlain is freezing over less frequently and less extensively than it did decades ago.

The Burlington Free Press says the lake separating Vermont and New York froze over in just half the years in the 1980s and 2000s. In the 1990s, the lake froze completely in just three winters.

From the 1820s through the 1920s, Champlain froze every year.

The lack of complete ice cover is raising questions about the impact on the lake. While no changes in local ecosystems have been noticed, studies from German lakes indicate that less ice causes plankton to grow at different times than in the past. Plankton is a basic food in a lake ecosystem, and fish are a big consumer of plankton.

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