The latest research was based on snowpack reconstructions from 66 tree-ring chronologies, looking back 500 to more than 1,000 years. A network of sites from north to south in the Rocky Mountains was chosen to characterize the range of natural snowpack variability over the long term.
Rocky Mountain Climate
The tiny mountain pine beetle has feasted on Colorado’s lodgepole pine forests, turning countless acres of trees into dead wood. An autumn presentation on the tiny but powerful bug shed some light on how Colorado’s majestic forests will be impacted by the beetle infestation.
The mountain pine beetle epidemic wildfire suppression, climate change and rural property development will impact the Colorado’s forests over the next several decades.
The findings dramatically alter the climatic framework used by geologists reconstructing past climate change; archaeologists describing human responses to environmental change; and water managers tasked with balancing environmental, agricultural and urban water needs in drought-stressed southwestern North America.
Decreased Rocky Mountain snowpack has slowed the winter release of heat-trapping CO2 gases from forest soils into the atmosphere, according to scientists.
Scientists predicted that global warming is likely to change California river flows in ways that may result in both increased winter flood risk and summer water shortages — even within the same year.
Glacier National Park once was home to approximately 150 glaciers, but only 27 remain, and those are rapidly melting, according to CBD. Global warming is responsible for the disappearance of the park’s iconic glaciers.