Claim: Sierra Nevada snowpack lowest in five centuries

Watts Up With That?

From the UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada in 2015 was at the lowest level in the past 500 years, according to a new report led by University of Arizona researchers.

These two natural-color satellite images of the snow cover in the Sierra Nevada in California and Nevada show the last year with average winter snowfall, 2010, compared with 2015 -- a year that had the lowest snowpack in 500 years. The images were taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite. CREDIT NASA/MODIS These two natural-color satellite images of the snow cover in the Sierra Nevada in California and Nevada show the last year with average winter snowfall, 2010, compared with 2015 — a year that had the lowest snowpack in 500 years. The images were taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
CREDIT NASA/MODIS

The team’s research is the first to show how the 2015 snowpack compares with snowpack levels for the previous five centuries.

“Our study really points to the extreme character of the 2014-15 winter. This is not just unprecedented over 80 years — it’s unprecedented over 500 years,” said Valerie Trouet, an associate professor of dendrochronology at the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring…

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