Sierra snowfall has decreased 15% since the late 1970s

Snowfall has decreased 15% in California since the late 1970s, with precipitation falling as rain instead. On current emissions trajectories, the state will likely experience 60% to 90% decline in the annual average number of days below freezing by 2100, as precipitation increasingly shifts from snow to rain and snow melts earlier. The Sierra region… Read More Sierra snowfall has decreased 15% since the late 1970s

Cryosphere decline continues, Northern Hemisphere snow and glacier loss accelerates: IPCC

All components of the cryosphere have been in decline over the past few decades (see figure 4.25), with North­ern Hemisphere spring snow cover continuing to decrease in extent, and glaciers losing mass and contributing to sea level rise throughout the 20th century. The strong and significant changes reported to the cryosphere in IPCC’s last major… Read More Cryosphere decline continues, Northern Hemisphere snow and glacier loss accelerates: IPCC

$12B US winter tourism industry lost $1.07 billion to warming in 1999-2010

The U.S. winter tourism industry is worth $12.2 billion (including $3.1 billion in taxes) from snowmobiling, snowboarding, ice fishing, snowshoeing and skiing, and related activities with restaurants, lodging, gas stations, grocery stores, and bars. The biggest source of value is resort operations ($2.9 billion, 75,900 jobs) followed by dining ($942 million, 31,600 jobs). Figure 8… Read More $12B US winter tourism industry lost $1.07 billion to warming in 1999-2010

Low-lying ski areas in the western US are losing snowpack

Global warming will significantly reduce snowpack in the Western United States, especially those areas that are just near freezing temperatures.  Some of the most affected areas include Arizona, New Mexico, and the Lake Tahoe. Source: Butsic, Hanak, and Valletta (2009). Climate Change and Housing Prices: Hedonic Estimates for Ski Resorts in Western North America. Federal… Read More Low-lying ski areas in the western US are losing snowpack

Sierra snowpack is expected to shrink more than 30%

Sierra snowpack is expected to shrink more than 30% by 2070-2099 even in optimistic scenarios. This has profound implications for California’s ski industry. Ski resorts require a minimum snow depth to begin the ski season, with a typical ski season in California historically (1961-1990) lasting from late November to late June (around 200 days). Under… Read More Sierra snowpack is expected to shrink more than 30%

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… Read More Western US snowpack is especially vulnerable to climate warming

Long term declines in mountain snowpack continue: IPCC

Globally, long term declines in mountain snowpack have been observed and are further projected over the past three decades, particularly at lower, warmer elevations.  Increasing air temperature in mountainous regions will raise snow lines and major reductions in snow cover are projected for mid-latitudes in general by the end of this century with lower, warmer… Read More Long term declines in mountain snowpack continue: IPCC