Western US snowpack is especially vulnerable to climate warming

In the western U.S., Decreases in snowpack, less snowfall, earlier snow melt, more winter rain events, increased peak winter flows, and reduced summer flows have been documented. Western temperatures have increased more at high elevations than at lower ones, meaning that the West’s warming has been concentrated where snow falls and is naturally stored in mountain snowpacks.

Source: Saunders et al. (2008). Hotter and Drier: The Wests’s Changed Climate. The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and National Resources Defense Council.

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