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Experts Suggest Summer Temps Confirm Climate Change In Nevada

July Was Hottest Month Ever On Record For Reno

August 30, 2018 - 2:53 pm
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LAS VEGAS (KXNT) - Reno and some other cities in Nevada saw the hottest months ever for July, and Lake Tahoe's temperatures were really warm this summer. Experts said the summer months showed warning signs that slowing climate change is critical to Nevada's future.

As summer comes to a close, climate experts and scientist said this season has shown that climate change is having a serious impact in Nevada. July was the hottest month ever recorded for the city of Reno, with 14 days of more than 100-degree temperatures. August has been warmer than average, too. 

"We've only set two record lows in the last 18-and-a-half years, and, actually we didn't even set them, we just tied them, and we've set or tied more than 170 record highs. So, that's a pretty big change that's happening here," said Scott McGuire with the National Weather Service. McGuire also said since 2000, there's been an obvious warming trend in our region.

A report this month from the National Wildlife Federation highlights the toll that the warming climate is taking on summer recreation nationwide. It said in addition to increased wildfire danger and drought, the rising temperatures are affecting some of Nevada's most beloved places. Lake Tahoe, usually known for its cold, mountain water, reached some of its highest recorded temperatures in July, at more than 70 degrees.

Geoffrey Schladow with the University of California Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center said when water at the top of the lake warms up, it doesn't mix as well with colder water below. He explained that can be disastrous for the fish and plants in the lake.

"What the lake depends on is mixing all the way to the bottom, in order to bring oxygen to the bottom, and that hasn't been happening for the last eight years. And our modeling for the effects of climate change show that that's going to be happening less and less, going forward," Schladow added.

Lake Tahoe and Lake Mead in 2017 both experienced toxic algae blooms related to warmer water. McGuire and Schladow said consequences of warming environments are already happening across Nevada, so they believe it's critical to do everything to slow climate change.