Colo. water in a changing climate, season by season

Colo. water in a changing climate, season by season

News Type: Regional Source: Mountain West News
Click here to read the article: https://mountainwestnews.org/will-yellowstones-forests-remain-b347113f0468

Over the next year, The Colorado Independent will examine, season by season, the effects of climate change on the state’s water supply and the many forms of life it sustains. Here’s Part 1, “The life and death of snow”:

Scientists agree the shrinking of the snowpack across the American West stems directly from warming winters and climate change. The decline serves as a rapidly flashing red warning sign for what’s inevitably to come to the Colorado Rockies — sooner rather than later if rising temperatures aren’t curbed significantly.

At a meeting of the American Geophysical Union late last year, researchers presented a major study painting a bleak future for snow in the U.S. and beyond. The report, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined trends in snowpack measurements across the continental U.S., finding that changes on the East Coast have been relatively minor so far, but that the West has seen an average 41 percent decline in the amount of snow during winter since the early 1980s. Also during that period, the snow season has become an average 34 days shorter than it was in the 1980s, with spring conditions coming earlier than they used to in the western United States. So not only is there less snow, but it’s also falling later and melting earlier.