- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2008

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (UPI) — California scientists warn that climate change could turn Lake Tahoe’s famous blue water into a murky shade of green.

Scientists at the University of California at Davis said computer models show that higher temperatures could change the lake’s mixing cycle within 10 years.

That could result in fewer cold-water native fish, more invasive species and murky water, the university’s Tahoe Environmental Research Center said.

“What we expect is that deep mixing of Lake Tahoe’s water layers will become less frequent, even nonexistent, depleting the bottom waters of oxygen. This will result in major, permanent disruption to the entire lake food web,” center director Geoffrey Schladow said. “[Oxygen depletion] occurs annually in most lakes and reservoirs in California in the summer, but Tahoe has always been special. It’s been above and beyond such things.”

The findings were announced March 18 at a Tahoe scientific conference, the university said.

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