Studying the snowpack in a changing climate – Water Buffs Podcast ep. 5 – Noah Molotch

The snowpack is crucial to the West’s water supply, ecosystems and economy. But climate change threatens to make the region’s snowpack thinner and less reliable. We talk to a leading snowpack researcher about how scientists are analyzing the past, present and future of the West’s snow.

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Water Desk Director Mitch Tobin talks to Noah Molotch, Director of the Center for Water Earth Science & Technology (CWEST) at the University of Colorado Boulder, about the importance of snow to our water supply and what the future may hold for the American West’s snowpack.

Episode highlights

Introduction   (0:29)
Noah Molotch, Snow ScientistNoah Molotch, Snow Scientist
Noah is Director of the Center for Water Earth Science & Technology (CWEST) at the University of Colorado Boulder
Related links:

Starts at 1:39
Why is snow so important to the West?   (1:56)
What does climate change mean for snowpack?   (2:24)
How do you measure snowpack?   (8:36)
Water Words: ‘Return flow’Water Words: ‘Return flow’
The U.S. Geological Survey defines return flow as “drainage water from irrigated farmlands that re-enters the water system to be used further downstream.”
Starts at 19:14
What technologies are used in measuring snowpack?   (21:02)
Forecast for snow this coming winter?   (30:23)
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