Lake Tahoe Temperature on the Rise, Says UC Davis “State of the Lake” Report

Spencer Miller |
Lake Tahoe, CA/NV.

Tahoe’s ecosystem is changing.  Trees are dying at record rates, and now the lake’s temperature is heating up, according UC Davis’ recently released annual state of the lake report.  About 15 times the historic average in the past four years, to be exact.

Geoff Schladow, the Director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, believes that the temperature of the lake is steadily increasing even with the “extreme variations” from year to year.  He announced that this month looks like it could hold Tahoe’s highest average surface temperature ever recorded, despite the all-time low for surface temperature being recorded last year.

Average lake temperature, in a graph. Photo courtesy of The Weather Channel.  

Temperature fluctuation, along with the declining tree populations, has many researchers on edge.  Schladow says, “I would give Tahoe an incomplete because the story is still unfolding.”  But from now on, scientists will be monitoring the water temperature every two minutes, twenty-four seven to keep a close eye on the lake and its health.

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