Year 2, Month 6, Day 27: We Used To Use These On Mountainsides.

The Christian Science Monitor addresses the study of decreasing snow mass in the Rockies:

A blend of natural climate swings and global warming appears to be driving a long-term decline in snowpack along the Rocky Mountains rarely seen in the past 800 years.

In the process, and perhaps more important for the future, the dominant driver behind available snowpack along the continental spine appears to be shifting from precipitation to temperature, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science.

If this shift holds, the study’s team adds, it could represent a change that would accelerate the loss of the West’s natural freshwater reservoirs – if long-term average temperatures continue to rise with increasing levels of industrial greenhouse gases, as most climate scientists are convinced they will.

Ski the Rocky Mountains while you can, kids.

Sent June 12:

There aren’t a great many surprises in the new study of the Rocky Mountains’ shrinking snowpack. Rather, we find evidence that supports hundreds of other studies in the confirmation of a troubling planetary trend. The Earth is warming; human beings are causing it with emissions of greenhouse gases; it’s going to affect ecosystems all around the world in complex and disruptive ways. The Rocky Mountains are one such area, and their decreasing snow mass is going to have significant effects on the water usage patterns of the entire American West. It is a tragedy in the making, exacerbated by an ideologically-based refusal of “conservatives” to acknowledge scientific reality and its implications. In fact, self-styled conservatives are the real radicals when it comes to climate: by advocating a rapid transformation of the Earth’s atmosphere to unexplored extremes, they’re endangering all of us. That’s not conservatism, that’s reckless insanity.

Warren Senders