Chironomid remains from a mid-elevation lake in the Sierra Nevada, California, were used to estimate quantitative summer surface water temperatures during the past similar to 15,000 yr. Reconstructed temperatures increased by similar to 3 degrees C between lake initiation and the onset of the Holocene at similar to 10,600 cal yr BP (calibrated years before present). Temperatures peaked at 6500 cal yr BP, displayed high variability from 6500 to 3500 cal yr BP, and stabilized after 3500 cal yr BP. This record generally tracks reconstructed Santa Barbara Basin sea surface temperatures (SSTs) through much of the Holocene, highlighting the correspondence between SST variability and California land temperatures during this interval. (c) 2006 University of Washington. All rights reserved.