What Would the Sierra Nevada Look Like with No Snowpack?

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Skiers leave for the day at Squaw Valley Resort on March 14, 2020 in Olympic Valley, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America)

Sierra Nevada snowpack, a vital water source for California, could vanish within the next 25 years, according to a new study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  While scientists have tracked and warned about diminishing levels of snow covering the Sierra Nevada for years, the new research provided a more specific timeline about when California could reach a no-snow reality and what that means from a scientific perspective. The study’s authors, however, want their study to not just alarm people, but also push them to change behaviors and policies to slow down or reverse the loss of snow in the Sierras. We’ll talk about how climate change is reducing the Sierra snowpack and what that means for the state.


Benjamin Hatchett, assistant research professor of atmospheric science, The Desert Research Institute

Alan Rhoades, hydroclimate research scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Erica Siirila-Woodburn, research scientist, Energy Geosciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory