A recent NASA study showed Lake Tahoe's water is warming twice as quickly as regional air temperature, lending weight to predictions of warming lake temperatures made by UC Davis researchers in 2008.
The study, published in November, shows from 1992 to 2008, Tahoe's surface waters warmed a mean 0.23 of a degree Fahrenheit a year for a total increase of 3.7 degrees. Air temperatures recorded in Tahoe City increased 0.1 a a degree annually during the same time.
Researchers from the Tahoe Environmental Research Center, UC Davis and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., used 18 years of temperature data from satellite sensors. They studied Tahoe, Clear Lake, Lake Almanor and Mono Lake in California and Pyramid and Walker Lake in Nevada.
"This isn't just Tahoe. Other lakes in the region are experiencing similar rates of warming, said Geoffrey Schladow, director of the Tahoe research center.
Lake Tahoe was used to calibrate the data coming from the satellite. Satellite measurements look at a very thin layer of the lake and can be influenced by the atmosphere, Schladow said.