Snowpack Outlook Grim for Water Needs

There’s a reason Climate Change is the biggest ‘tag’ on this blog (see Tags in right column.)  It is the biggest concern we should all have. Bigger than who the president is.  Way bigger than who the General slept with. [I am reminded of John Goodman’s line in Flight when he comes to see his buddy Denzel Washington, in the hospital with grievous wounds:  Hey, I brought you some stroke magazines!]  The world as we know it is en-route to the biggest changes in the shortest time Homo Sapiens has ever been around for.  No kidding.

David Perlman, as he has so often, contributes a column that should be pasted over every Californian’s kitchen sink.

Calif. snowpack outlook grim for water

The future of water for drinking and irrigation looks increasingly bleak throughout California and the world’s northern regions as the changing global climate shrinks mountain snowpacks and speeds early runoffs, Stanford researchers forecast.

Decreases in winter snowpacks are likely to be most noticeable during the next 30 years and will continue to shrink through the century, according to an analysis of future climate trends by a team of specialists led by Noah Diffenbaugh at Stanford’s Department of Environmental Earth System Science.

“One clear result is that western North America shows the most rapid and largest response to the continued emissions of greenhouse gases when it comes to early snowmelt and spring runoff,” Diffenbaugh said.

The result, he and his colleagues say, will be less runoff water for irrigation during the season when California’s high-value crops need it most for growing, and also more early springtime flooding that can strain dams and reservoirs before the water reaches lowland cities.

Read all:

You could also watch Discovery Channel’s “On Thin Ice,” with David Attenbourough at both poles, showing what climate change is doing to ice, snow and water there.

The Wilkins Ice Shelf, a 200-meter thick sheet of floating fresh water ice larger than Jamaica, started to break up in 2008.

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