Meltdown

At Carpe Diem West, our focus is on what’s working for communities and western utilities as they build resiliency for their water supplies.

We try not to spend a lot of time reacting to the huge number of “bad-getting-worse” stories from scientific reports and news articles on climate change, forests, and western water, however, some stories really hit home.

Climate Central’s new “bad news” report, Meltdown: More Rain, Less Snow as the World Warms, doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know about how there’s more rain and less snow in the mountains of the American West. The report provides a great visual map and very useful trend assessment, and is “non-water-geek” friendly. A couple of key points from the report:

  • As the world warms, the meaning of winter is changing. In the U.S., a greater percentage of winter precipitation is falling as rain, with potentially severe consequences in western states where industries and cities depend on snowpack for water, and across the country wherever there is a winter sports economy. 
  • The Pacific Northwest has been the hardest hit, with low elevation snow on a clear path toward oblivion: 81 and 91 percent of stations under 2,000 feet in Washington and Oregon, respectively, show a trend toward a lower percentage of winter precipitation falling as snow over the 65 years analyzed.

You may find the report useful when talking with decision-makers about why doing everything we can to make western forests more resilient is a very smart idea.

As you read the report, keep this in mind: the authors have assessed 65 years of historic data. The future is a lot scarier. It’s time to get busy.

Carpe Diem!

Kimery Wiltshire

Kimery Wiltshire
April 8, 2016

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

 

 

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