A lack of snow is bad for skiers, but it’s even worse for our future. Earlier this year, a study found that the snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains was at its lowest level in 500 years, which is bad news for a state deep in drought, but California is hardly alone.
In a study published in Environmental Research Letters, researchers found 97 drainage basins that depend on snow melt for their annual allotment of water. A drainage basin is any area of land where water drains to a certain point, like a river or reservoir. The researchers examined 421 basins, but focused on these 97 basins because they not only supply fresh water to 2 billion people, but there is also a 66 percent chance that the snow available to those basins would decline in the coming years.
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