Tag Archives: sierra-nevada

California snow levels remain low, signaling less water for summer

Reuters: Snow levels atop California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, key indicators of how much water will be available for drought-stricken farms, residents and wildlife this summer, remained precariously low despite recent storms, officials said Tuesday. The snowpack, which melts in the spring and feeds streams and reservoirs throughout the state, has just a third of the amount of water it normally contains this time of year, said Mark Cowin, director of the state Department of Water Resources Continue reading

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Despite help from late-winter storms, California snowpack only 32 percent of normal

Valley Tribune: A string of late-winter storms was not sufficient to knock out the state’s three-year drought, leaving critical snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada two-thirds below normal and predictions of a “gloomy” summer for farmers and many urban communities, state water managers said Tuesday. Though the Northern California snowpack rose from 27 percent of average on March 1 to 32 percent, hopes for a “March miracle” were dashed as surveyors carrying hand-held probes climbed down from the snow-covered slopes… Continue reading

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Drought-plagued California tries drink ocean (hold the salt)

Grist: Despite the pugnacious storms that had California on the ropes this past weekend, the state is still in the middle of a record-making drought. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is well under half its usual level for this time of year, and there’s almost certainly no way to catch up this late in the season. Enter the ongoing construction of 17 desalination plants across the state Continue reading

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Amazon deforestation could cause droughts in California

Mongabay: Complete deforestation of the Amazon rainforest could reduce rainfall in the Pacific Northwest by up to 20 percent and snowpack in the Sierra Nevada by up to 50 percent, suggests new research published in the Journal of Climate. The study is based on high resolution computer modeling that stripped the Amazon of its forest cover and assessed the potential impact on wind and precipitation patterns. While the scenario is implausible, it reveals the global nature of the ecological services afforded… Continue reading

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Calif.’s Sierra a ‘living lab’ for climate change

Associated Press: In parts of California’s Sierra Nevada, marshy meadows are going dry, wildflowers are blooming earlier and glaciers are melting into ice fields. Scientists also are predicting the optimal temperature zone for giant sequoias will rise hundreds and hundreds of feet, leaving trees at risk of dying over the next 100 years. Continue reading

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Groundwater Pipeline Threatens Great Basin Desert, Indigenous Groups

Deep Green Resistance: The Pipeline Proposal The Great Basin stretches from Utah’s Great Salt Lake to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and from southern Idaho to southern California. About seven inches of rain falls in Nevada a year, and some areas receive less than five Continue reading

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In California, the Snow Tells the Future for the Water Supply

New York Times: Along Highway 50 in the Sierra Nevada, elevation 6,820 feet, a California winter ritual unfolded here on a recent morning. In the snow-blanketed meadow of a local homeowner’s backyard, reporters representing news organizations from across the state followed a man on skis who kept plunging an aluminum tube into the snow. Leading the pack was Frank Gehrke, California’s chief snow surveyor, the man responsible for measuring the Sierra Nevada’s snowpack, the source of a third of this state’s water supply…. Continue reading

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Mountain forest study shows vulnerability to climate change

Phys.Org: CU-Boulder assistant professor Noah Molotch deploying an automated snow depth sensor and solar panel in Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. Continue reading

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Gene Flow May Help Plants Adapt To Climate Change

redOrbit: The traffic of genes among populations may help living things better adapt to climate change, especially when genes flow among groups most affected by warming, according to a UC Davis study of the Sierra Nevada cutleaved monkeyflower. The results were published online June 27 by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Continue reading

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Heavy snowstorms consistent with a warming planet, scientist says

Tahoe Daily Tribune: -Global warming could make record-setting snowstorms in some parts of the country more common, but not in the Sierra Nevada, according to scientists with the Union for Concerned Scientists. “Heavy snowstorms are not inconsistent with a warming planet,” said Jeff Masters, director of meteorology for www.wunder ground.com, in a statement from the Union. “In fact, as the Earth gets warmer, and more moisture gets absorbed into the atmosphere, we are steadily loading the dice in favor of more extreme… Continue reading

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