Researchers studying the condition of winter snowfall in the mountain ranges of California have revealed that climate change and rising temperatures have reduced the period of snow in the ground on mountains that several million people rely on for fresh water resource. The data presented by these researchers at American Geophysical Union Meeting Prof Amato Evan from Scripps Research Institute declared that winters are getting shorter and we all know the reason why and that is climate change due to rising temperatures. His team has studied the annual cycle of snow and melt in the western side of US from 1980’s to 2018.
His research revealed that length of snow time on the ground of mountains in that region is continuously reducing into shorter periods and summers are arriving early which is the chief reason behind devastating wildfires that have affected the California region for several summers in recent years. He explained how in this region where precipitation occurs only during winter short periods of this season means summers are longer and this is why fire seasons are also becoming dangerously long. He brought to light issues of pest infestation that thrive in summer and other ecological problems that act like a perfect storm of unpleasant outcomes that later result in massive fires.
This thought process of Prof Amato Evan was seconded by Donal O’ Leary from Maryland University who has carried out research on significant relationship between snow and wildfires. He agreed that early snowmelts are leading to increased occurrences of wildfires in California’s Sierra Nevada region. Mountain snow is only source of freshwater for millions in the region as their reservoirs are refilled by annual snowmelt every year. Scientists around the world that have studied global climate models reported similar results across the northern hemisphere and say that this is a signal that impact of climate change has now reached the mountains.
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