Decline in Snowpack Is Blamed On Warming

Water Supplies In West Affected

The persistent and dramatic decline in the snowpack of many mountains in the West is caused primarily by human-induced global warming and is not the result of natural variability in weather patterns, researchers reported yesterday.

Using data collected over the past 50 years, the scientists confirmed that the mountains are getting more rain and less snow, that the snowpack is breaking up faster and that more rivers are running dry by summer.

The study, published online yesterday by the journal Science, looked at possible causes of the changes — including natural variability in temperatures and precipitation, volcanic activity around the globe and climate change driven by the release of greenhouse gases. The researchers’ computer models showed that climate change is clearly the explanation that best fits the data.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/31/AR2008013101868.html?hpid=topnews