A Data Synthesis Working Group: Disappearing Snow in the Western US: Ecosystem Implications for the Rain-Snow Transition Zone

Introduction and Goals:

In the Western US mountain regions, winter temperature increases will lead to the reduction and even loss of winter snowpacks.

A shift from snow to rain-dominated systems will alter seasonal patterns of streamflow, soil moisture, soil temperature, etc. affecting a myriad of ecosystem processes.

This proposed work will develop a working group and fund a student to aggregate and synthesize data relevant to the ecosystem implications of disappearing snow in the rain-snow transition of the Western US.

The working group and student will work together to identify and aggregate key datasets investigating the atmosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and terrasphere from relevant LTER sites as well as others across the Western United States (see Appendix A for some examples) which will enable researchers to address important questions related to ecosystem response to the interactions of push and pulse dynamics of climate change within this vulnerable rain-snow transition zone.

Principal Investigator: 
Anne Nolin
Competition Date: 
2010, November
Award Date: 
2011, January
Award Year: 
Award Amount: 
Number of Participants: 
Peter Adler, Domonique Bachlet, John Campbell, Robert Crabtree, Kelly Gleason, James Gosz, Katy Kavenagh, Catherine Keske, Tim Link, Marcy Litvak, Anne Nolin, Roger Ruess, Mark Wiliams


“Collaborative Research: Waning Winters: Biotic Impacts of Changing Climate and Disturbance Regimes on Cold Lands Ecosystems from Stand to Cross-­‐regional Scales”. Macrosystems NSF

White paper entitled:

“When Winter Wanes: Biotic Impacts of Changing Climate and Disturbance Regimes on Seasonally Snow-covered Ecosystems from the Watershed to Continental Scale”.