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Geography Assistant Professor McKenzie Skiles was interviewed for a KSL story regarding a new study on the future of snow in the Western United States.

 If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, Utah's billion-dollar ski industry is in trouble.

The negative impact climate change could have on winter has been discussed at length, but an October study paints maybe the most bleak forecast to date: In 35 to 60 years, mountain regions in the American West could see little to no snow.

Published in Nature Reviews Earth and Environment, the paper compiles findings from a number of other studies and climate models that portray different warming scenarios to forecast when snowpacks around the West could start to decline. The paper also details past winters to provide an overview of current snowpack trends.

"One important takeaway from this is maybe not all of these studies agree on when the low-to-no-snow future is going to happen, but all of them agree that it's likely and that it's really not that far into the future," said McKenzie Skiles, assistant professor at the University of Utah's Geology Department.

Link to the full story

Last Updated: 12/14/21