For my area of interest and throughout my career at Lewis and Clark the one thing that I have been interested in is snow loss and the many impacts that this has on the environment. There is a large decrease in the amount of snow that we are seeing from year to year. This decrease can be seen in the graph below which looks at the snow cover extent, form April-June from the years 1978-2007.
The reasons for snow declining so rapidly can be linked to climate change and the rising global temperatures. “In a warmer world there is less precipitation that falls as snow in the winter, and also snow melting is happening earlier in spring, these changes then cause the peak of river runoff to occur earlier in the late winter and early spring, when it is really needed in the later summer time when there is a higher demand for water.”(Barnett 2005). With warmer temperatures there are changes that are occurring to the runoff process of rivers, and also many more impacts that can cause damaging effects to our environment.
1. What are impacts of the changes in amount of snow? Eco-systems, seasonality, recreation, economy, hydrologic, and more?
2. What can be done to help mitigate the loss of snow, and more broadly climate change?
The five frameworks that my project focuses around are snow loss, climate change, impacts of snow loss, companion entries, and the conservation strategies. With snow loss and what is going on there are many things that are being impacted by this change. There are decreases to the amount of snow that we are seeing year to year, and also there is a decrease in the snow and ice that is held in glaciers. Also the winter season are becoming shorter and shorter, because of this snowmelt is happening earlier in the year. This leads to more snowmelt in the early spring and less happening in the late spring and summer when it is most needed. These are just some of the changes that are occurring due to snow loss.
These changes are also happening because of the changes to climate and the human impacts that we are having on our planet. One of these impacts is a rising global temperature, which is due to the many human impacts that happen every day. These impacts include pollution, over consumption of resources, and more. Another human impacts is with water usage and the ways that we are using and managing water. Some of the main things that are being effected when it comes to snow loss are ecosystems, seasonality, recreation, economy, hydrologic impacts, vernalization, and more
Some companion entries that can relate to my capstone project include the chapters on anthropogenic climate change, forest resources, glaciers, water management, and eco-tourism. And the last framework that relates to my capstone is the next steps and what can be done about the impacts that are happening, In my framing question I ask: what can be done to mitigate the loss of snow, and more broadly climate change?
Moving towards the next steps of my capstone project there are some things that I will need to focus on, so that I can narrow the hourglass. This includes my situated context and picking exactly where/ how I want to situate this project. One path that I could take with this is focusing on the many different impacts of snow loss and possibly focusing on just one of these issues. Another path that I could take is a comparative study of the snow loss impacts in Oregon and Colorado. With this situated context my focused question would be: What are the impacts to changes in snow and how do they differ in Oregon vs. Colorado? What is being done in these different areas to mitigate these effects? This is something that I will have to decide upon for next semester and how I want to focus my capstone project.
In this class of "Environment" is a word so embedded in environmental discourse and scholarship that it has effectively disappeared. We all know what the environment is—or do we? And what do our unexamined assumptions about environment mean for how we approach environmental issues? A careful examination of the word might lead us to... More Theory 350, we have talked a lot about what that means and what exactly doing environmental theory entails. We then broaden this idea to include our areas of interest. We are now working towards narrowing this idea into our capstone projects that we will complete in ENVS 400 next semester. Moving forward in this project for me will mean narrowing my situated context and focus question, in order to understand what data/methodology I will take to complete my project.
PDF Of Slides
Barnett, T. P., J. C. Adam, and D. P. Lettenmaier. 2005. “Potential Impacts of a Warming Climate on Water Availability in Snow-Dominated Regions.” Nature 438 (7066): 303–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04141.
Derksen, C., and R. Brown. 2012. “Spring Snow Cover Extent Reductions in the 2008–2012 Period Exceeding Climate Model Projections.” AGU Journals. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. October 10. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2012GL053387@10.1002/(ISSN)1944-8007.GRLCMIP5.
Edwards, Anthony C., Riccardo Scalenghe, and Michele Freppaz. 2007. “Changes in the Seasonal Snow Cover of Alpine Regions and Its Effect on Soil Processes: A Review.” Quaternary International, The Soil Record of Quaternary Climate Change, 162–163 (March): 172–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2006.10.027.
Fletcher, Robert. 2018. “Ecotourism.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James D. Proctor, 591–94. New York: Routledge.
Holden, Joseph. 2018. “Water Resources.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James D. Proctor, 572–77. New York: Routledge.
Kim, Dong-Hwan, Mark R. Doyle, Sibum Sung, and Richard M. Amasino. 2009. “Vernalization: Winter and the Timing of Flowering in Plants.” Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology 25 (1): 277–99. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.cellbio.042308.113411.
Larkin, Alice. 2018. “Anthropogenic Climate Change.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James D. Proctor, 479–85. New York: Routledge.
Nikolakis, William and Nelson, Harry W. 2018. “Forest Resources.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James D. Proctor, 511-16. New York: Routledge.
Taillant, Jorge Daniel. 2018. “Glaciers.” In Companion to Environmental Studies, edited by Noel Castree, Mike Hulme, and James D. Proctor, 524-34. New York: Routledge.