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  • Dirk, Adeline

Shockingly little snow in the Pyrenean mountains

Climate Change is disputed by some in the media. If those people would take the time to go to the mountains, they might realized that they are wrong.

My team and I went up to some of our study lakes on February 9th 2020. We were shocked about the little snow cover we found. Some of you might think “that is not a big deal”. Well, actually it is.

Snow and ice are huge water reservoirs, which are gradually released during the spring thaw. It fills our brooks and rivers with water. That water is used by nature to flourish, by farmers to grow crops and other food, and by us to shower, drink and water our gardens. If snow and ice is missing in the mountains, all precipitation is released near immediately, which leads to high peaks in water availability, in the worst case to floods. Once that water has passed, water levels decrease quickly, leading to drought, when it does not rain regularly as in the tropics. Missing snow will also lead to lower water levels in mountain lakes and therewith also in the brooks, as seen in summer 2019 (our blog on the topic). So, little snow in the mountains is an issue which will bite us in the temperate zone in the butt during spring and summer. Climate Change is not about increasing global temperatures, but it also about variability in precipitation and temperatures, which will have adverse effects for everyone of us.

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