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Title: Potential for western US seasonal snowpack prediction

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ; ; ; ORCiD logo;
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1417723
Grant/Contract Number:
CERC-WET/CEC 300-15-006
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 6; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2018-02-08 05:05:39; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Kapnick, Sarah B., Yang, Xiaosong, Vecchi, Gabriel A., Delworth, Thomas L., Gudgel, Rich, Malyshev, Sergey, Milly, P. C. D., Shevliakova, Elena, Underwood, Seth, and Margulis, Steven A. Potential for western US seasonal snowpack prediction. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1716760115.
Kapnick, Sarah B., Yang, Xiaosong, Vecchi, Gabriel A., Delworth, Thomas L., Gudgel, Rich, Malyshev, Sergey, Milly, P. C. D., Shevliakova, Elena, Underwood, Seth, & Margulis, Steven A. Potential for western US seasonal snowpack prediction. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1716760115.
Kapnick, Sarah B., Yang, Xiaosong, Vecchi, Gabriel A., Delworth, Thomas L., Gudgel, Rich, Malyshev, Sergey, Milly, P. C. D., Shevliakova, Elena, Underwood, Seth, and Margulis, Steven A. 2018. "Potential for western US seasonal snowpack prediction". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1716760115.
@article{osti_1417723,
title = {Potential for western US seasonal snowpack prediction},
author = {Kapnick, Sarah B. and Yang, Xiaosong and Vecchi, Gabriel A. and Delworth, Thomas L. and Gudgel, Rich and Malyshev, Sergey and Milly, P. C. D. and Shevliakova, Elena and Underwood, Seth and Margulis, Steven A.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1716760115},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 6,
volume = 115,
place = {United States},
year = 2018,
month = 1
}

Journal Article:
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  • Radiative forcing induced by soot on snow is a major anthropogenic forcing affecting the global climate. However, it is uncertain how the soot-induced snow albedo perturbation affects regional snowpack and the hydrological cycle. In this study we simulated the deposition of soot aerosol on snow and investigated the resulting impact on snowpack and the surface water budget in the western United States. A yearlong simulation was performed using the chemistry version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF-Chem) to determine an annual budget of soot deposition, followed by two regional climate simulations using WRF in meteorology-only mode, with andmore » without the soot-induced snow albedo perturbations. The chemistry simulation shows large spatial variability in soot deposition that reflects the localized emissions and the influence of the complex terrain. The soot-induced snow albedo perturbations increase the net solar radiation flux at the surface during late winter to early spring, increase the surface air temperature, reduce snow water equivalent amount, and lead to reduced snow accumulation and less spring snowmelt. These effects are stronger over the central Rockies and southern Alberta, where soot deposition and snowpack overlap the most. The indirect forcing of soot accelerates snowmelt and alters stream flows, including a trend toward earlier melt dates in the western United States. The soot-induced albedo reduction initiates a positive feedback process whereby dirty snow absorbs more solar radiation, heating the surface and warming the air. This warming causes reduced snow depth and fraction, which further reduces the regional surface albedo for the snow covered regions. Our simulations indicate that the change of maximum snow albedo induced by soot on snow contributes to 60% of the net albedo reduction over the central Rockies. Snowpack reduction accounts for the additional 40%.« less
  • The economic value of current and hypothetically improved seasonal precipitation forecasts is estimated for a regionally important haying/pasturing problem in western Oregon by modeling and analyzing the problem in a decision-analytic framework. Although current forecasts are found to be of relatively little value in this decision-making problem, moderate increases in the quality of the forecasts would lead to substantial increases in their value. The quality/value relationship is sensitive to changes in various economic parameters, including the decision maker's attitude toward risk. 12 references, 4 figures, 5 tables.
  • We examined diets of Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) based on contents of pellets and large prey remains collected year-round at burrows in each of the 3 regions in south central Nevada (Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, and Transition region). The most common prey items, based on percent frequency of occurrence, were crickets and grasshoppers, beetles, rodents, sun spiders, and scorpions. The most common vertebrate prey was kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.). True bugs (Hemiptera), scorpions, and western harvest mice (Reithrodontomys megalotis) occurred most frequently in pellets from the Great Basin Desert region. Kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.) and pocket micemore » (Perognathinae) were the most important vertebrate prey items in the Transition and Mojave Desert regions, respectively. Frequency of occurrence of any invertebrate prey was high (>80%) in samples year-round but dropped in winter samples, with scorpions and sun spiders exhibiting the steepest declines. Frequency of occurrence of any vertebrate prey peaked in spring samples, was intermediate for winter and summer samples, and was lowest in fall samples. With the possible exception of selecting for western harvest mice in the Great Basin Desert region, Western Burrowing Owls in our study appeared to be opportunistic foragers with a generalist feeding strategy.« less