Above are NASA images of the snowpack in California that has rapidly depleted from 2013 to 2014.
Snowpacks across the northern hemisphere are depleting, possibly affecting over 2 billion people who rely on the water that comes from the snowpacks’ melted water.
According to data from scientists in the United States and Europe, the loss of this seasonal reserve of snow will most likely jeopardize water supplies by 2060 across the entire northern hemisphere.
Justin Mankin of Columbia University’s Earth Institute released a statement, stating, “Water managers in a lot of places may need to prepare for a world where the snow reservoir no longer exists.”
Those among the most affected by this shortage include the entire state of California, the Ebro-Duero basin in Portugal, the south of France, Spain, and the Shatt al-Arab basin which provides resource to Iraq and Syria.
While rainfall across North America, northern Europe, Russia, China, and southeast Asia are expected to continue at normal frequency, the snowpacks are proven to affect the water supply. The drought in California reportedly was the result of a dry, warm winter, yielding little snowfall.