Colorado will lose half its snow by 2080

Study shows large losses of snow will transform high elevation areas and that water will disappear entirely in some areas as temperatures rise.


National News

June 6, 2022 - 3:46 PM

Wildfire smoke blows eastward from the mountains of New Mexico as a sandstorm sweeps down from eastern Colorado in this April 29, 2022, NOAA satellite image. (Courtesy NOAA/TNS)

Parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah are drying out due to climate-driven changes in stream flows, and these states will shift to become more like the most arid states of the Southwest, federal researchers found in a scientific study published last week.

The lead author of the study said Colorado will experience a 50% to 60% reduction in snow by 2080.

“We’re not saying Colorado is going to become a desert. But we see increased aridity moving forward,” said hydrologist Katrina Bennett at the federal government’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

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