Climate change may mean less snow for SoCal mountains

San Gabriel Mountain (Courtesy by flickr/jcookfisher)
San Gabriel Mountains (Courtesy by flickr/jcookfisher)

It’s summer time, and it may get hotter and hotter every year with a stunning snowfall loss in the Southern California mountains. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences released  a report today called Mid- and End-of-Century Snowfall in the Los Angeles Region, predicting that L.A. area mountains may lose a lot of snow.

Due to continual greenhouse gas emissions, it is predicted that by 2050, L.A. area mountains – including the San Bernardinos, San Gabriels, San Jacintos, and the Tehachapis – will lose up to 42 percent of their annual snowfall. By the end of the century, the loss of snow will probably reach 70 percent.

Rising temperatures are also very likely to accelerate melting of snowpack accumulated on the ground. Scientists predict that, by 2050, seasonal snowpack is likely to melt completely an average of 16 days earlier than usual in the spring,” the report says.

That classic SoCal lifestyle, which lets you can ski and surf in the same week, may be over in the coming decades.

“It kind of cuts to our identity,” Jonathan Parfrey told the Los Angeles Times, a commissioner with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power who is also executive director of Climate Resolve, a local nonprofit concerned with climate change.

If greenhouse-gas emissions are reduced, the loss of snow could be stabilized at 31 percent by mid-century.

Despite the threats of climate change and the undecided future of L.A., the City has already taken steps to reduce the carbon impact – including the decision to move off of coal by 2025 and investing in public transportation throughout the region.