University of Colorado at Boulder

Earlier snowmelt carries drastic consequences for forests

August 03, 2016.    Category: Research

Theodore Barnhart
Graduate Student

Earlier snowmelt periods associated with a warming climate may hinder subalpine forest regulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), according to the results of a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

The findings, which were recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, predict that this shift in the timing of the snowmelt could result in a 45 percent reduction of snowmelt period forest carbon uptake by mid-century.

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Related NSF Press Release 16-089 Earlier snowmelt decreases streamflow, reduces forests' ability to regulate atmospheric carbon dioxide