Gore links Great Lakes problems to climate change

DETROIT –

Former Vice President Al Gore says dealing with the climate change crisis is essential to fixing some of the environmental problems plaguing the Great Lakes.

Gore drew links between results of a warming planet and regional issues affecting the lakes in a speech Thursday in Detroit during the annual meeting of the International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canadian agency that advises both nations on shared waterways.

He said increasingly intense storms likely caused by global warming are overwhelming wastewater treatment systems in the region. They dump excessive nutrients and sewage into the lakes, leading to beach closings and algae blooms.

Gore said climate change also causes more evaporation, which drives lake levels down.

He said unless the crisis is solved, it could nullify recent progress toward healing the Great Lakes.