10 Jun '11, 2pm

Snowmelt in the Rockies Just Isn't the Same: Over the last three decades, both the northern and southern Rockies...

Jack Affleck/Associated Press A new study by the geological survey confirms that Rocky Mountain snows, like these in the Ten Mile Range, consistently melted sooner over the last 30 years than they had in centuries past. The summary of the new United States Geological Survey paper in Science Magazine was blunt. “Over the past millennium, late-20th-century snowpack reductions are almost unprecedented in magnitude across the northern Rocky Mountains,” it said. The authors of the study, which was based on an analysis of 66 tree-ring studies, some of which gave a glimpse into conditions 800 or more years ago, added, “The increasing role of warming on large-scale snowpack variability and trends foreshadows fundamental impacts on stream flow and water supplies across the western United States.” On the one hand, the underlying narrative was depressingly familiar, synchronizing wit...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/10/snowmelt-in-the...

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