Hot air, hotter lakes

Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, Walker Lake and three other large lakes in California are warming faster than the atmosphere around them. That’s according to a study led by NASA researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and published in the November issue of Geophysical Research Letters. The other lakes studied were Clear Lake, Lake Almanor and Mono Lake in California.

The surface water temperature of the lakes rose twice as fast as the regional air temperature, which may indicate that climate change could affect aquatic environments faster than the surrounding atmosphere. Warmer water may also help explain the rapid breeding of an invasive clam, corbicula fluminea, in Lake Tahoe. It first appeared there in 2002 and now densely covers the lake, contributing to algae blooms.