Climate Change Effects on Sierra Nevada’s Snowpack Can Threaten Species Health Suffering from Starvation

The latest report warns of the potential impact of climate change on significant snowpacks in the Sierra Nevada. Researchers explain that many species can suffer from starvation due to a decline in snowpack and changing shifts in weather conditions.

Climate change has been a major threat to parts of the US, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and California. It can influence weather events, bringing the following:

  • intense temperatures
  • extreme rainfall
  • flooding
  • prolonged drought

In recent reports, California has experienced challenging weather conditions. The snowpack in California’s Sierra, Southern Cascades, and other areas is crucial for the region’s water security, especially during the warm and drought months.

In addition, climate change can significantly impact many species due to a decline in snowpack and extreme weather events. As a result, understanding the different impacts is important to developing strategies for mitigating climate change.

California’s Snowpack: Why Does It Matter?

(Photo : by Mario Tama/Getty Images). Researchers raised concerns about the decline in snowpack and advancing snowmelt, which can impact many species in the region.

In a recent report, researchers from the University of California raised concerns about the climate change effects on species in California, which can go hungry when snowmelt declines. The lack of a snowpack can damage water security.

The research findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers explained that the reduction of snowpack and advanced snowmelt can alter the environment, which can affect biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

Researchers also raised concerns about climate shifts in precipitation and temperature fluctuations. The findings show that the shifts, particularly in stream formation, can affect the species’ ways of looking for potential food, disrupting the food webs and ecosystem balance.

“It is remarkable that despite the stability at the broad ecosystem level, even slight changes can be consequential,” Associate Professor Albert Ruhi, the study’s co-author, said, as quoted in a report. Ruhi is also from the environmental science, policy, and management department at UC Berkeley.

The researchers highlighted the early snowmelt in the region, which climate change has exacerbated. Many species are expected to be affected, including insects, birds, land animals, and marine animals. The main concern is that they can suffer from starvation.

In addition, the report said that some species could survive or become resilient to changing weather conditions in the region. However, prolonged rises in temperatures and frequent shifts in weather can be disastrous to animals’ survival.

Also Read: Wildfire, Extreme Drought Can Cause Widespread Emergence of Invasive Species in California’s Ecosystem

California’s Extreme Drought and Wildfires Effects on Invasive Species

NWN recently reported that extreme drought and wildfires, worsened by climate change, can trigger the spread of invasive species in California’s ecosystem. The report was published in Ecology.

Temperature fluctuations and changing humidity can help with the invasive species, causing potentially devastating effects on ecosystems and wildlife. Widespread invasive species can threaten food security.

Related Article: Diverse Fish Habitats Help Save Salmon Species To Survive Changing Climate Conditions

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