Summer river flows will decrease as winter snowpack shrinks
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Low elevation maritime snowpacks around the world could be hit especially hard by global warming, according to scientists with Oregon State University, who are projecting a 56 percent decline in the amount of water stored in peak snowpack in the McKenzie River watershed of the Oregon Cascade Range.
The projections are based on a projected 3.6 degree Fahrenheit temperature increase, and highlight the special risks facing many low-elevation, mountainous regions where snow often falls near the freezing point. In such areas, just a modest temperature increase means the difference between snow and rain.
Winter snowpack in the Cascade Range provides much of the water for the populous Willamette Valley, significant changes in the hydrological regime could have significant social, environmental and economic implications, especially in summer when water demands peak. (more…)