Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Are we running out of snow?

A recent University of Utah study has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, and models the year-to-year variability in precipitation and temperature in Utah's Wasatch Mountains where Park City is located.

Jason Scalzitti, a graduate student in atmospheric sciences, and professors Court Strong and Adam Kochanski found that above 6500 feet elevation, the spring snow-pack is more dependent on the amount of precipitation in a year than the temperature.

In other words, it's more important to get a wet winter season than just a cold one. This said, under that particular elevation temperature has a larger impact. This of course, is caused by global warming.

Interestingly the scientist don't mention that more particulates created by almost 7.5 billion humans are making our spring snow dirty (as well as our glaciers and polar ice caps) and are accelerating snow melt; well, I must be the only one noticing this...

By the end of the century, according to the study, that critical level will climb by around 800 feet in Park City as well as the Wasatch, to about 7300 feet and even more in the Sierra Nevada, Cascades and other parts of the Rocky Mountains.

I guess that when I am 150, and I am done with skiing for the day, I'll leave my boards mid mountain, then hike or ride the chair down back to my car, unless they move the base up. Well, we'll see!

No comments: