California snowpack could shrink dramatically more or disappear before the end of the century: Study

California
People play on the snow next to the 138 Highway around San Bernardino Forest on Nov. 29, 2019 in Phelan, California. (APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

People play on the snow next to the 138 Highway around San Bernardino Forest on Nov. 29, 2019 in Phelan, California. (APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

It was 55 degrees and sunny Thursday at Sugar Bowl Resort, where the opening day of the 2021 ski season — already delayed because of warm weather — was still listed as “TBD.”

“Winter hasn’t quite arrived in Tahoe yet,” officials wrote in a note about the postponement. “The team will be working nightly and ready to flip the switch when Mother Nature cooperates.”

But the mountain isn’t the only place feeling the pinch from lack of snow. A new study led by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that dwindling snowpack across California and the western United States could shrink dramatically more — or in some cases disappear — before the end of the century.

The study, published recently in the journal Nature Reviews Earth and Environment, paints a worrisome picture of the “potentially catastrophic consequences” of a future with less snow, including the massive implications it holds for California’s water supply, as well as rippling effects on soil, plants, wildlife and even the increased frequency of wildfire.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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