Why is Los Angeles Interested in Snowfall Rates?

The city of Los Angeles recently published a report assessing regional climate change impacts on snowfall by the end of the century. The Los Angeles region has a complex climate system that is highly variable across the landscape, which makes it difficult to predict climate change impacts on important hydrological and ecological systems. To address this challenge and to inform municipal planning and policymaking, the City commissioned the report, Mid- and End-of-Century Snowfall in the Los Angeles Region , focusing on snowfall changes.

The report is the second in a series being conducted by atmospheric scientists at UCLA as part of the city’s “Climate Change in Los Angeles Region” project. The scientists employ innovative techniques that apply global climate models to the Los Angeles region and provide detailed projections of anticipated impacts. The study considers four emissions scenarios and predicts that by mid-century, Los Angeles area mountains will lose between 31-42 percent of their annual snowfall and up to 66 percent by the end of the century under the business-as-usual scenario. However, the research also indicates that these impacts can be substantially mitigated by aggressively reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

To learn more about the project and access the full report, click here.

To read the first study released in June 2012, Mid-Century Warming in the Los Angeles Region, click here.