UW research: Western glaciers losing ice at an increasing rate, but less so in Washington state – KNKX


It is a sobering reminder that our water supply for Port Townsend, comes from snow pack in the Olympics, not wells. We seem to be slightly benefitting from the climate changes happening all around us, at least in the shoas it relates to water in snow pack.

It appears a pattern of heavy storms in the Pacific Northwest may have obscured the effects of climate change over the past 20 years. Researchers here have identified a southern shift in the jet stream as a source of heavy precipitation that built up snow pack and glacier mass in Washington and Oregon, while they were declining elsewhere. David Shean, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington, uses high-resolution satellite images to get precise measurements of glaciers and ice mass. For a recent study, Shean teamed up with colleagues at the University of Northern British Columbia to assemble thousands of satellite pictures of North America’s western glaciers. They mapped and modeled changes in the ice since 2000. Shean says they found a rapid increase in ice loss over the past 18 years overall, but less happening in the Pacific Northwest. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

UW research: Western glaciers losing ice at an increasing rate, but less so in Washington state

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