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RENO, Nev. (AP) — The average surface temperature of Lake Tahoe has risen faster over the last four years than any time on record — 15 times faster than the long-term warming rate over the past half century, scientists say.
Continued warm and dry conditions contributed to several record-breaking measurements at Lake Tahoe in 2015, raising concerns about the ecological impacts of climate change on the second deepest lake in the United States, according to an annual report issued Thursday by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.
Tahoe - Year - Research - Center - Water
"Lake Tahoe experienced a year like no other," according to the research center, which started keeping water temperature records in 1970 when it averaged 50.3 degrees.
The temperature in 2015 warmed nearly one-half of a degree from the previous year to a record 53.3 degrees Fahrenheit, the new study says.
Tahoe - Surface - Temperature - Rate - F
Tahoe's surface temperature slowly was increasing until it declined between 1997 and 2011, but since then it "has warmed at an alarming rate of over 0.3 F per year" — 15 times faster than the long-term average rate of .018 per year, the researchers said.
While precipitation was near average, only 6.5 percent of it fell as snow in 2015, the lowest amount on record. Only 24 days had below-freezing air temperatures, also a record, the report said.
Years - Air - Temperature - Lake - Shore
Over the last 100 years, the daily air temperature on the lake's northwest shore at Tahoe City, California has increased, with a 4.3 degree rise in the daily minimum temperature...
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