Climate warming impacts on alpine snowpacks in western North America

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Lapp, Suzan L.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2002
A wide area assessment of forecast changes in wintertime synoptic conditions over western North America is combined with a meso-scale alpine hydrometeorology model to evaluate the joint impact(s) of forecast climate change on snowpack conditions in an alpine watershed in the southern Canadian Rockies. The synoptic analysis was used to generate long-term climate time series scenarios using the CCCma CGCM1. An alpine hydrometerology model is used to predict changes in wintertime precipitation at the watershed scale. A mass balance snow model is utilized to predict the overall snow accumulation throughout a watershed. A vapour transfer model has been incorporated in the snow model to estimate snow volumes more accurately. The synoptic analysis and GCM output forecasts a modest increase in both winter precipitation and temperatures in the study area, resulting in a decline of winter snow accumulations, and hence an expected decline in spring runoff.
ix, 87 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Dissertations, Academic , Snowpack augmentation -- Rocky Mountains , Climatic changes , Global warming , Rocky Mountains -- Climate , Snow -- Rocky Mountains