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Fri Mar 2, 2018, 06:13 AM

Nature Climate and Atmospheric Science: Dramatic declines in snowpack in the western US

According to this open sourced paper in Nature Climate and Atmospheric Sci, the Western US Mountains Can't Hold Snow; the West Can't Get Water: Dramatic declines in snowpack in the western US (Mote, et al npj Climate and Atmospheric Sciencevolume 1, Article number: 2 (2018)

This is not a short term event. It's a trend.

California’s recent multi-year drought (2011–16) and its extension into Oregon and Washington has shown that warming can create drought simply by preventing the accumulation of mountain snowpack. The year 2015, for instance, set the record low 1 April snow water equivalent (SWE) at over 80% of sites west of 117° longitude,1 a result of high winter temperatures rather than low precipitation.2,3,4

More than a decade ago, we showed that spring snowpack had declined at a large majority of locations in the mountainous western US, and corroborated the observations with hydrologic modeling that reached broadly similar conclusions.5 We also noted that computing an area-averaged snowpack value from observations is challenging because the locations of long-term monitoring sites are usually chosen to favor a certain type of terrain and elevational range, with temperature-sensitive locations undersampled early in the record in some states.6 Methodological choices (e.g., about record length) can therefore strongly influence results and must be carefully evaluated. In contrast, model-based estimates provide a basis for estimating long-term SWE changes across the entire Western U.S. domain.

Since our earlier work, several papers have further explored the relationships between mountain snowpack, variability and trends in precipitation and temperature, and geographically important factors. Stoelinga et al. (ref. 7) derived a snowpack index for the Cascades from streamflow measurements, from which they estimated that the spring snowpack declined 23% between 1930 and 2007. Pierce et al. (ref. 8) using a hydrologic model forced by observations and by two 1600-year climate model runs to estimate natural internal climate variability, attributed declines in snowpack (specifically SWE divided by accumulation-season precipitation) across the western US to anthropogenic warming...

The article is, again, open sourced and there's not a whole lot of need to go over or quote the rest of it. It's pretty clear.

It seems to be involved with something called "climate change." A lot of whiny people have been carrying on about it, but fortunately we've successfully been able to completely and totally ignore them.

Don't worry; be happy.

California has lots of wind turbines and lots of solar cells and therefore all of our problems will shortly be solved, because they, and the natural gas on which they depend most of the time, are clean and green.

Have a nice Friday.

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