- California bearing the brunt of the climate change burden
- Water supplies in danger as droughts worsen
A study completed by a group of researchers from Oregon State University shows that snowpacks across the west are retreating to higher elevations earlier each year thanks to climate change.
The lack of plentiful late season snowpack poses a serious risk to the ski industry and more importantly, municipalities across the west that rely on reservoirs filled by snowmelt for drinking water.
“Over 90% of snow monitoring sites with long records across the western US now show declines.” – Oregon State University
The study began in 2005, when researchers collected baseline data for averages across snotel sites for the western United States. Since that initial data collection, researchers found a dramatic decline in the mass of snowpacks in just the past 10+ years alone.
Since 1950, the west’s snowpack has decreased 15-30%, depending on location. What’s perhaps more frightening is that 92% of the sites are on a negative, downward trend when it comes to accumulation.
You can find the entire study here: Dramatic declines in snowpack in the western US