California’s Sierra Nevada snowpack shrinks to a 500-year low

The record-low Sierra Nevada snowpack was another indication of the severity of California’s drought, which is affecting everything from agriculture to hydropower generation.

California’s Sierra Nevada mountains haven’t had this little snowpack since the days of Christopher Columbus.

That’s the finding of a new study released Monday indicating this year the state has seen its lowest snowpack in 500 years, and climate change may cause greater water shortages in the already drought-stricken, wildfire-ravaged state. Continue reading

Study into the California drought confirms the worst is yet to come

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THE carcasses of salmon, trout and more than a dozen other newly extinct native species lie in dry streambeds around California.

Exhausted firefighters in the Sierra Nevada battle some of the biggest wildfires they’ve ever seen. And in Central Valley farm towns, more and more parents hear the squeal of empty pipes when they turn on water taps to cook dinner.

A new report by the Public Policy Institute of California non-profit think-tank paints that distressing picture of California for the next two years if the state’s driest four years on record stretches further into the future. Continue reading