From California to Kyrgyzstan, global snow cover is in a state of long-term decline. Snowpack has been retreating at unprecedented rates over the last 100 years, with the overall quantity of earth’s frozen places (the “cryosphere”) diminishing.
Climate change means shorter ski seasons, higher snow levels, more occurrences of warm weather during the winter, and greater frequencies of more dangerous avalanche conditions. There is also evidence that climate change is altering the location of atmospheric “ridges” and in turn diverting storm tracks–such as is the case with so-called Ridiculously Resilient Ridge and the drought in California.
We are already seeing these effects from a rise of 0.85Cº (1880-2012), and Earth is now on track for warming in excess of 4Cº.
For more information, visit the studies page.
Image: Mass of glaciers by region, 1960-present (American Geophysical Union)
Updated November 15, 2014