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Are 'Ghost Lakes' Another Accompaniment of Climate Change?

California's latest climate change symptom? Ghost lakes. Here's what you need to know about the body of water that's haunting the state.

ghost lakes california
Written by
Calin Van Paris
zombie forests
, California is becoming accustomed to a fair amount of climate-related fallout. The latest addition to the weird nature lineup? Ghost lakes, bodies of water that dry up only to reappear—given a big enough storm, that is.

What Is a Ghost Lake?

ghost lake california
Photo: AFP/Patrick T. Fallon
A ghost lake is a long disappeared body of water that comes back to do some haunting.
California's Central Valley—more specifically, Tulare County—experienced a change of scenery last week when a barrage of rain began a process that could result in the resurrection of a lake that dried up in the 1940s.
Though the reemergence of the lake is due in part to the state's severe rains, the flooding's direction is purposeful. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District
looked to the ghost lake
as a solution to the ample King's River runoff, announcing plans to divert floodwater flows from Pine Flat Dam into the "Old Tulare Lakebed," possibly through the summer.

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Are Ghost Lakes Caused By Climate Change?

Photo: AFP/Patrick T. Fallon
So, is this ghost lake (and potentially similar phantom waters) a symptom of climate change? Partially.
According to
a release
from the Kings River Conservation District, the high river flows are a result of above-average snow and rainfall made stronger by dramatic and low-pressure storm systems springing through the tropics and the Gulf of Alaska.
As extreme weather continues to impact established infrastructure, creative solutions will need to be employed to manage the byproducts—in this case, all that extra water could bring a phantom lake all the way back to life.
Feature Photo: AFP/Patrick T. Fallon