Lake Tahoe from California seems to be getting warmer at a rate higher than any other places in the US. The scientists estimated the effect to be as much as 15 times faster than the historical average.
The rising air temperatures on the lake created a rise in the water temperatures. The phenomenon had been happening for years now, but the scientists observed some other modifications that may be altering the ecology of the water environment.
The changes are worrying for tourists and for the people that use the lake for recreation. Making it a climate change issue raises more questions on the impact of warming temperatures on Earth’s natural resources.
Lake Tahoe may be a unique location, but the physical processes are the same all over the world. The researchers believe it to be a good indicator for what may await other ecosystems.
The lake had been monitored since 1970 when the water temperature was 50.3 degrees Fahrenheit. In 2013, the temperatures reached 53.3 degrees. Most of the warming took place in the last decade and a half, which is not such a good sign.
The change in water temperature is connected with the increase in the air temperatures. Ever since 1916, the air temperature rose with 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit each year.
During the winter, waters with different temperatures mix inside the lake. However, this year the waters did not properly mix. The researchers think the event is due to the water that has higher temperatures.
The water clarity also dropped to 73.1 feet in 2015, with almost five feet lost in the last year. Aside from the water not mixing properly in the deep, the fertilizers can also create muddy waters.
In the last years, the locals tried to protect the waters from nitrogen and phosphorus and succeeded in improving water clarity.
The lake is not the only aquatic ecosystem that had to suffer the effects of global warming. Algal blooms have spread in the last years, making people stay away from lakes and pond and inducing safety panics.
The community is continuously trying to keep the lake healthy. They collect stormwater and pay attention to the natural filtration systems in order to keep out the harmful substances.
The representatives of the local environmental groups say that, even though the global warming cannot be easily overridden, changing the situation of the lake is indeed something that they can still control.
Image Source: Wikipedia