2014-08-28 / Front Page

Plant gains may reduce Sierra runoff

A succulent of the genus Dudleya clings to Turtleback Dome. (Erik Skindrud | The GAZETTE)A succulent of the genus Dudleya clings to Turtleback Dome. (Erik Skindrud | The GAZETTE)Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 - 4 p.m. - Warming Sierra temperatures will boost high-elevation plant growth that could consume as much as 26 percent of today's runoff from the range, a study by UC Merced and UC Irvine scientists said this week.

The result is likely by the end of this century, said the team, which includes Roger Bales of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced.

According to the researchers, runoff from mountain ranges is vulnerable to temperature hikes that lengthen growing seasons and result in more vegetation growth at high elevations.

"All of our analyses pointed in the same direction," study co-author Michael L. Goulden of UC Irvine said. "An upslope expansion of forest with warming would cause a large increase in evaporative water loss and lead to reduced water availability."

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I hope the deniers of climate

I hope the deniers of climate change will wake up and see what's happening. It is not only we people who suffer from this, but all the wildlife, the trees and nature itself. We should be custodians of nature, rather than greedy users.

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