USGS Study Finds Recent Snowpack Declines in the Rocky Mountains Unusual Compared to Past Few Centuries

A picture named plowingsnowtrailridge.jpg

From the Loveland Connection (Bobby Magill):

Using tree ring samples to reconstruct the size of mountain snowpack over the past millennium, USGS researchers were able to show that reductions in the size of the mountain snowpack across the West during the past 30 years is unusual when considering the size of the mountain snowpack each year during the past three centuries…

There was an “inflection point” in the 1980s when the size of a given year’s snowpack was more influenced by temperature than by amount of precipitation, said USGS research scientist Gregory Pederson, lead author of the study, “The Unusual Nature of Recent Snowpack Declines in the North American Cordillera.”[…]

“The region you are sitting in is a particularly dynamic one,” he said. “These basins haven’t shown the substantial temperature-driven declines since the 1980s. (Colorado’s northern mountains) seem fairly resistant to fairly extensive snowpack decline like you see across the Northern Rockies.”

Leave a Reply