7. Future mountains with low-to-no snow and ice
Future mountains with low-to-no snow and ice – a community perspective
Jakob Steiner, Erica Woodburn, Alan Rhoades, Fabien Maussion, Areidy Beltran, Silvia Terzago
Scientific Committee Teams involved
The mountain cryosphere provides vast freshwater reservoirs critical to ecosystems and downstream communities. Yet they are harbingers of a changing climate through their sensitivity to warming. A low-to-no snow (L2NS) future, or widespread, persistent, and deleterious snow, ice, and permafrost loss, is possible given increasing temperatures and alterations in precipitation magnitude and phase. L2NS will impose a series of cascading hydrologic changes to the water-energy balance, impacting vegetation processes, surface and subsurface water storage, streamflow, and ultimately water-energy resources and ecosystem function. Strategies for adaptation of livelihoods, power generation, and ecosystem function post-L2NS are rarely exchanged across sectors, research communities, and mountain ranges. This session aims to bring together a diverse set of researchers and stakeholders to exchange successes and failures from regions where L2NS is or will be a future reality and discuss how to overcome uncertainties in estimating the warming level and time horizon of L2NS emergence.