‘Tis the season.
Love it or hate it, winter means snow and ice for much of the US. In many places, though, snow is becoming a scarce resource.
A valuable resource: Snowpack on Oregon’s Mt. Hood.
USDA NRCS/Spencer Miller
New research forecasts that climate change will make multiyear stretches with low snow levels more common across western North America – bad news for water managers, farmers, foresters and skiers.
Snowpack protects tree roots and soil from harmful freeze/thaw cycles.
Climate change is shrinking winter snow cover in Northeast forests, which protects tree roots and soil from repeated freezing and thawing. This could stunt tree growth and forest carbon storage.
A blizzard in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in 2005.
Governments and private companies have been seeding clouds to create snow for decades, without proof that it actually works. A recent study peered into clouds in search of answers.
Comparison of Sierra Nevada snowpack in 2015 v 2010.
According to scientists, tree-ring analysis shows that California drought is the worst it has been in 500 years.The study underscores the severity of current drought and the challenges of future water management in the state.