Western US could lose up to 60% of the annual snowpack in the next 30 years

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by Alexzn, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Alexzn

    Alexzn Ski Squaw Skier

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    https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14996
    Here is the article summary:

    Large near-term projected snowpack loss over the western United States
    Abstract. Peak runoff in streams and rivers of the western United States is strongly influenced by melting of accumulated mountain snowpack. A significant decline in this resource has a direct connection to streamflow, with substantial economic and societal impacts. Observations and reanalyses indicate that between the 1980s and 2000s, there was a 10–20% loss in the annual maximum amount of water contained in the region’s snowpack. Here we show that this loss is consistent with results from a large ensemble of climate simulations forced with natural and anthropogenic changes, but is inconsistent with simulations forced by natural changes alone. A further loss of up to 60% is projected within the next 30 years. Uncertainties in loss estimates depend on the size and the rate of response to continued anthropogenic forcing and the magnitude and phasing of internal decadal variability. The projected losses have serious implications for the hydropower, municipal and agricultural sectors in the region.

    Before I get accused of posting hype, note that Nature Communications is a serious (real) scientific journal backed by formidable reputation of the Nature Publishing Group, the world's premier scientific publishing house. The article is open access, so everyone can read it. The implications for the future of skiing industry are somewhat clear.
     
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  2. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    This is disheartening. :(
     
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  3. scott43

    scott43 Out on the slopes Skier

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    It's not true..Trump says so! Oh wait...is that allowed!? :D
     
  4. Dave Petersen

    Dave Petersen Vintage Gear Historian/Graphic Designer Industry Insider

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    So you are saying to invest heavily in TechnoAlpin?
    IMG_2171.JPG

    The Snow Factory shown below can make snow at 90 degrees (it is made inside the container).
    IMG_2174.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  5. Dave Petersen

    Dave Petersen Vintage Gear Historian/Graphic Designer Industry Insider

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    Has nothing been learned from the movie THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW?

    The melting glaciers will dilute seawater causing a violent/rapid weather shift and a new ice age!
    IMG_2172.JPG

    Any time I get depressed about warming winters I watch this movie.

    Giant polar vortex pulling cold air down from space. It's a possibility - right???
    IMG_2173.GIF
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  6. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    It was reported on The Today Show just this morning that the previous 5 years were the warmest ever recorded, with each year getting subsequently warmer. But, it's all good, right? :(Nothing to worry about at all.
     
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  7. Dave Petersen

    Dave Petersen Vintage Gear Historian/Graphic Designer Industry Insider

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    We just need a good volcanic eruption to fill the air with ash blocking out the sun and dropping temps...it's a fine balance--some eruptions increase temps, others decrease temps.

    FullSizeRender.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  8. Ken_R

    Ken_R Getting off the lift Skier

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    Either way theres nothing we can do but advocate climate change and support it with consumer action. Of course those in Washington have a MUCH higher responsibility so it saddens me that there is a group there that flat out ignores and dismisses science even though science has probably saved their lives quite a few times... oh well.
     
  9. pete

    pete not peace but 2 Beers! Skier

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    well, selfishly (which seems to be a trending item in the US) I will likely no longer be skiing in 30 yrs and will avoid buying property in ski locations, rather follow the snow.

    while i trust the science and see benefit in being ecologically sensitive for all kinds of reasons (fresh water may be a more significant issue) i believe humans have limited long term models on how our planet's feedback systems work. So I hope somewhere we've overlooked a significant factor, but i try to be an optimist .. a bit hard to be but be but .....
     
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  10. Eleeski

    Eleeski Getting off the lift Skier

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    Hmmm, KSL and Vail are pretty savvy, long term focused, vested in honestly assessing the science and are betting big time that there will be snow. I'm not denying anthropogenic climate change - I'm just not buying into that report's projected winners and losers.

    "Lies, damn lies and statistics."

    Eric
     
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  11. Yo Momma

    Yo Momma Getting off the lift Skier

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    No snow............no worries! :beercheer:

     
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  12. pete

    pete not peace but 2 Beers! Skier

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    Nice .... suppose @Eleeski has water fallback too!
     
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  13. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Not buying the findings of this study because KSL/Vail are making big investments seems silly to me. These researchers (disclaimer: I happen to know one of them quite well) are top of the field climate scientist. To my knowledge, KSL/Vail does not employ top tier climate scientists that could potentially counter this work. It is my understanding that there is very solid consensus in the remote sensing / hydrologoy / physical geography community that massive changes to our annual snowpack has already happened and will continue to.

    I think KSL/Vails actions shouldn't be read against this report. In my view their actions should be seen as reflecting the fact that people are still going to want to ski (cause they both are great marketers), skiing is going to happen in less locations and will likely cost more, and that geographic diversification is an asset at this time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
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  14. Yo Momma

    Yo Momma Getting off the lift Skier

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    Northern VT on Lake Champlain in summer mostly w/ a 3/4 wetsuit. I'm land locked at home so I practice w/a trainer in the cow pastures. Takes a bit to learn........ but once up and riding the thrill is equivalent to chest deep pow. Also works so many parts of the brain and body and no dieting necessary........... I'm a beginner and easily lose 20 lbs during KB season just from walking around in the water.........mostly back upwind....... Women are generally better starters than men in this sport. Here's where you start:

     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  15. WheatKing

    WheatKing Putting on skis Skier

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    So did any of these guys predict the 800" that has already fallen this season on the sierra nevada? *crickets* oh ya.. it's still snowing..

    Squaw is thinking of running the lifts all season.. You know what you call snow that exists from one year to the next.. glacier.. They're predicting that this years snow will not melt this year.. Did anyone predict that.. is it in the model?

    Wettest year on record for California... which again in the time scale we've been measuring haven't been very long.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...or-wettest-water-year/?utm_term=.056caf801305

    If they can't predict this variability then why all the doom gloom. Go enjoy it while it's there..
     
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  16. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Head First Skier

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    Yeh, unfortunately if we get one big enough to work we shan't be flying anywhere.
     
  17. Dave Petersen

    Dave Petersen Vintage Gear Historian/Graphic Designer Industry Insider

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    I'm with you--weather forecasters can barely predict one day out.

    I don't trust any models. Look at the past election. They were saying according to the models Hillary would be president.
     
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  18. Dave Petersen

    Dave Petersen Vintage Gear Historian/Graphic Designer Industry Insider

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    Very true
     
  19. Dave Petersen

    Dave Petersen Vintage Gear Historian/Graphic Designer Industry Insider

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    Yup - quoting Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park "life (nature) finds a way".
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  20. Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Snow Skier Skier

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    Has anyone here had to raise funds for research and advance a career in that area? Even for those with the shiniest beacon of impartiality and academic integrity in one hand, fundraising and advancement is a highly political process and their other hand is being held out with an open palm. In some areas academic and objective purity is hard to come by. I'm not picking sides, I'm not represented by either side.

    Up to 60% is concerning but then I guess 2% qualifies as up to 60%? Is there a sacrifice of credibility by putting it that way? And aren't they trying to predict the weather long term? If they've figured out a way to do that beyond a coin flip, well, wouldn't that be the real story?
     
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