Dust in Snowpack Exacerbates Water Shortages
A feature in National Geographic describes how scientists are seeking to identify and reduce sources of dust in Western snowpack. Dust combined with the snow makes it darker, which makes it melt faster. In areas of the West where water is already scarce due to drought, losing snowpack early has important implications for agriculture that’s dependent snowmelt for irrigation, as well as recharging the water system in general. Researchers believe that altering grazing and recreation practices on desert lands could help reduce dust levels.