Saturday, May 19, 2012

Climate change and snowpack depletion Warnings about regional climate change were kicked up a notch earlier this month with the recently released report by Robert Shibatani, a Sacramento-based hydrologist who is also CEO of The Shibatani Group Inc.

This new analysis offers dire predictions for the Sierra snowpack based on projected warming temperatures in California. The report, “Accelerated Climate Change: How a Shifting Flow Regime is Redefining Water Governance in California” focuses on the challenge of managing the Golden State’s water resources as snowmelt and river flow patterns are altered in forced global warming conditions.

It should be understood from the start that according to the Shibatani Group website, the company is “an international leader at assessing, documenting, and explaining the implications of forced climate change, climatic variability, and what that means to water supply and water resource[s]…” Since the group provides professional services and preemptive planning for watershed management based on climate change, the company has a vested interest in the field.

Shibatani’s projections are derived from numerous sources that include a 2011 U.S. Bureau of Reclamation-released document on western climate risk assessments. In his base assessment, Shibatani assumes a rapid 2 degree Celsius (3.6F) warming over the temperature averages from the 1961-1990 timeframe. Air temperature is expected to steadily increase in the 21st century, but this report assumes that a dramatic temperature departure “is likely to occur in the next decade,” which explains the “accelerated climate change” reference in the title.

Based on such quick warming over the next 10 years or so, Shibatani anticipates a greater than 50 percent reduction in the Sierra snowpack’s April 1 water content (known as the snow water equivalent (SWE)), by the early 2020s. As a hydrologist, it’s an event he considers of “Katrina-esque proportions.” He states that the only difference between a catastrophic flood event and his prediction of a significantly depleted snowpack within a decade or so “is that it will happen every year and with increasing severity, representing a permanent change.”...

Snow-clad sierra terrain and trees, shot by Introvert, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

1 comment:

mememine69 said...

Meanwhile, the entire world of SCIENCE and Liberalism and journalism had allowed bank-funded and corporate-run “CARBON TRADING STOCK MARKETS” to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 26 years of insane attempts at climate CONTROL. Nice job girls.