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A point-location-based analysis of future climate change impacts on snow accumulation and melting processes was conducted over three study watersheds in Northern California during a 90-year future period by means of snow regime projections. The snow regime projections were obtained by means of a physically-based snow model with dynamically downscaled future climate projections. Then, atmospheric and snow-related variables, and their interrelations during the 21st century were investigated to reveal future climate change impacts on snow accumulation and melting processes. The analysis shows large reductions in snow water equivalent (SWE), snowfall to precipitation (S/P) ratio, and snowmelt through the 21st century. Timing of the peak of the SWE and snowmelt will also change in the future. Meanwhile, the analysis in this study shows that air temperature rise will affect, but will not dominate the future change in snowmelt over the study watersheds. This result implies the importance of considering atmospheric variables other than air temperature, such as precipitation, shortwave radiation, relative humidity, and wind speed even if these variables will not clearly change during the 21st century.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Science of the total environment
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Any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). It may result from natural factors such as changes in the sun's intensity, natural processes within the climate system such as changes in ocean circulation, or human activities.
A snow sport which uses skis to glide over the snow. It does not include water-skiing.
A type of climate characterized by insufficient moisture to support appreciable plant life. It is a climate of extreme aridity, usually of extreme heat, and of negligible rainfall. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Sports activities in the snow.
An animal or plant species in danger of extinction. Causes can include human activity, changing climate, or change in predator/prey ratios.