Threat to 75% of California's Agricultural Water Supply from Decreased Snowpack

A new study funded in part by NOAA's Climate Program Office finds that a 1 degree increase in winter average temperature increases the probability of a below-average winter snowpack by 20% while a 2 degree warming increases that probability to 40%. Given the heavy reliance on snowmelt and runoff during the low-precipitation Californian summer, this decrease in snowpack in a warmed climate will further stress California's water resources, which support a very large population in Southern California as well as over $30 billion dollars in annual agricultural productivity.

Read the full paper HERE.

Article written by Dan Barrie, MAPP Program Manager

Photo credit: NASA Earth Obervatory 

About MAPP
The Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program is a competitive research program in NOAA Research's Climate Program Office. MAPP's mission is to enhance the Nation's and NOAA's capability to understand, predict, and project variability and long-term changes in Earth's system and mitigate human and economic impacts. To achieve its mission, MAPP supports foundational research, transition of research to applications, and engagement across other parts of NOAA, among partner agencies, and with the external research community. MAPP plays a crucial role in enabling national preparedness for extreme events like drought and longer-term climate changes. For more information, please visit

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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.


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