Ice on Lake Superior is good for minimizing evaporation over the winter months, which will help it maintain higher water levels in the summer.
The thick ice will likely affect the waters beneath in another way. According to AccuWeather.com:
“’With all of this ice, all the sunlight that hits the surface of the lake is going to get bounced back out into space, so it’s going to take longer to get warmer this spring and summer,’ said Jay Austin, associate professor at the Large Lakes Observatory. ‘The lake is going to just start warming this year when it will start cooling off for next year.’”
Austin says some of the ice could stay well into the summer months. And that cooler waters will affect air temperatures around Lake Superior, possibly contributing to a cooler summer.
In a talk with WDIO, he notes the effects such a summer could have:
“’What this means is that we’re going to have a much shorter period when the lake is very productive and lots of photosynthesis goes on,’ Austin said.”