Lake Tahoe Warming, Along With Other Large Lakes

You wouldn’t know it from our window on the north shore of Lake Tahoe this Thanksgiving where the 9 foot drifts are finally plowed and the lake shore looks frozen in the early 10 degree mornings, but this fabled lake, as well as many others, have been steadily warming over several decades.

The world’s largest lakes, including Lake Tahoe, have been warming rapidly for 25 years as the global climate changes, NASA scientists report.

And throughout the Northern Hemisphere, surface water temperatures of many lakes have been rising even faster than the warming air above them, according to observations by ultra-sensitive satellites.

In a report just published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Philipp Schneider and Simon Hook of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena say the warming rate of all the major lakes observed by the satellites has averaged nearly a full degree Fahrenheit per decade. For some lakes in the Northern Hemisphere, the average increases reached nearly two degrees Fahrenheit per decade, they said.

Then, halfway around the world, Lake Baikal in Russia shows similar data:
…the lake, which holds 20 percent of the world’s liquid freshwater, has warmed by more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1946, a rate three times faster than the global average air temperature rise.