As the planet warms, scientists expect that mountain snowpack should melt progressively earlier in the year.
As the planet warms, scientists expect that mountain snowpack should melt progressively earlier in the year. However, observations in the U.S. show that as temperatures have risen, snowpack melt is relatively unaffected in some regions while others can experience snowpack melt a month earlier in the year.
This discrepancy in the timing of snowpack disappearance—the date in the spring when all the winter snow has melted—is the focus of new research by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.
In a new study published March 1 in the journal Nature Climate Change, Scripps Oceanography climate scientists Amato Evan and Ian Eisenman identify regional variations in snowpack melt as temperatures increase, and they present a theory that explains which mountain snowpacks worldwide are most “at-risk” from climate change. The study was funded by NOAA’s Climate Program Office.
Read more at: University of California - San Diego
Minimal snow at the Phillips Station meadow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, January 2018. (Photo Credit: California Department of Water Resources)