Disappearing snowpack and massive forest fires in California

Images of the snow cover in the Sierra Nevada in California and Nevada showing average winter snowfall, 2010 compared with 2015. Credit: NASA/MODIS

Getting drier and drier

California cannot catch a break from the massive climate disruption that now plagues the exceptionally dry region. New measurements from the University of Arizona show that 2015 has experienced the lowest level of snowpack in California's Sierra Nevada mountains in the past 500 years.The winter of 2014/15 was extreme and the low levels have contributed to the three year ongoing drought in California, which has also experienced extreme wild fires this summer. Researchers say that climate change is making the situation worse as higher temperatures lead to more severe drought.

In April the governor declared the first-ever mandatory water restrictions throughout the state. The lack of snow in 2015 stems from extremely low winter precipitation combined with record high temperatures in California in January. Right now, more than 100,000 acres of northern California are on fire while thousands flee their homes. The governor has called a state of emergency. Below is a stunning video of a man fleeing Anderson Springs.


Out of the ashes into the fire

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