Lecture 10 - Lecture 10 Permafrost Changing snow cover...

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Lecture 10: Permafrost
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Changing snow cover: Water resources 75-85% of our water supply in Western US and Central Asia comes from snow melt Change from snow to rain means that water will run off immediately rather than being stored until the dry season or replenishing groundwater Earlier snow melt and less snow mean peak water flow is earlier and weaker and longer periods of low flow in summer Case study: California….
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Case Study: California Water fuels the economy of California but supply does not match demand Dams, reservoirs, aqueducts and huge irrigation systems have dramatically altered the distribution of water in California
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Case Study: California Agriculture: - Uses 80% of our water supply - Produces over half the US-grown fruit, vegetables and nuts - 1 out of 6 jobs in California is tied to agriculture in some way Urban areas: - Uses 20% of our water supply - Population expected to rise by 10 million people by 2050 Indirect user = hydroelectricity generation - In 2007 generated 15% of California’s electricity - Amount generated each year depends on water availability
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Future projections include: - Further reduction of late winter and spring snowpack - Earlier snowmelt and peak stream flow - Reductions in available water and soil moisture - Rainfall rather than snowfall causing more flooding during winter months and reduced availability of water in summer months Case Study: California
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