Human-caused global warming has been shrinking the snowpack across the mountain ranges of the West for five decades, suggesting that the region’s long battle for water will only get worse, according to a computer analysis released Thursday.
As temperatures have increased, more winter precipitation has fallen as rain instead of snow, and the snow is melting sooner, according to the study published in the journal Science.
The result is that rivers are flowing faster in the spring, raising the risk of flooding, and slower in the summer, raising the risk of drought.
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