Western U.S. Will Face Farming Challenges as Snow Falls as Rain
May 21, 2020
In some regions, warming from climate change is causing precipitation to fall as rain instead of snow. It is also altering the timing of snowmelt to shift and become out of synch with irrigation demands for agriculture. John Abatzoglou — from the Department of Geography — and his colleagues looked at how snowmelt affects food production and how changes in snowmelt may threaten food production in irrigated regions globally. Snowmelt currently provides a dominant source of irrigation water for nearly a third of staple crops such as wheat. The researchers found that the farming regions most at risk from changing snowmelt patterns were in Central Asia, western Russia, the southern Andes and in the western U.S.
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