Publication Date August 10, 2017

How climate change harms Lake Tahoe and how to stop it

United States
In 2013: A swimmer enjoys the waters of lake Tahoe on Sunday, July 7, 2013. Photo: RGJ file

The warming climate is taking a toll on Lake Tahoe.

According to a recent report the average daily minimum temperature in the Lake Tahoe basin is more than four degrees warmer than it was 100 years ago.

That’s warming the water in the lake and making it less hospitable to native fish and more welcoming to invasive species.

In addition to invasive species there’s another, invisible problem looming over the lake’s future.

As the water warms there’s less mixing between warm surface water and colder water near the bottom. The mixing is critical to getting oxygen to the bottom of the lake.

“Without that happening we may eventually run out of oxygen,” said Geoffrey Schladow, director of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center.