May 28, 2016

Climate change impact on the roles of temperature and precipitation in western U.S. snowpack variability

by
Scalzitti, Jason, Strong, Courtenay, Kochanski, Adam
,
Geophysical Research Letters
  • Evaluates climate change impact on the roles of temperature and precipitation in spring snowpack (S) variability across the western United States
  • States that there is historically a range of threshold elevations (1580–2181 m) across six mountainous regions, above which precipitation is the main driver of snowpack variability and below which temperature is the main driver
  • Finds that under a moderate end-of-century climate change scenario, these thresholds increase by 191 to 432 m
  • Results suggest increasing spatial and elevational vulnerability of western U.S. spring snowpack along with associated impacts to hydrologic and ecologic systems