Sitting out a very cold day with 7 inches of new snow, a seemingly useless and interfering stuff, mariner wondered if anyone was glad to see the snow. Serendipitously, the Atlantic published an article about how critical snowpack is to millions of people. Scientists recently discovered a constant temperature where snowpack will begin disappearing for good. An excerpt from the article is provided below:

“That threshold is 17 degrees Fahrenheit. Remarkably, 80 percent of the Northern Hemisphere’s snowpack exists in far-northern, high-altitude places that, for now, on average, stay colder than that. There, the snowpack seems to be healthy and stable, or even increasing. But as a general rule, when the average winter temperature exceeds 17 degrees (–8 degrees Celsius), snowpack loss begins, and accelerates dramatically with each additional degree of warming.

Already, millions of people who rely on the snowpack for water live in places that have crossed that threshold and will only get hotter. “A degree beyond that might take away 5 to 10 percent of the snowpack, then the next degree might cut away 10 to 15 percent, then 15 to 20 percent,”

This situation reminds mariner that when Mother Earth acts, the entire planet and its biosphere are included. We frequently hear news about the mountain ranges melting and providing fresh water to lower habitats. It is another thing for snowpack residents to suddenly lose their water. Conversely, there are many regions in the American west that already suffer from disappearing water and some towns already are dry. One thinks of the warmer temperatures melting ice floes and leaving the polar bear in a difficult situation.

It is ironic that the oceans are rising because of melting polar ice while the amount of drinkable water is decreasing. We’ll have to wait to see how humans handle the situation.

Meanwhile, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Ancient Mariner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.