As California Warms, Greener Mountains Will Mean Less Water for People
Trees growing higher on the slopes will soak up water before it can run into rivers, study says.
Scientists have more bad news for drought-stricken California: The climate warming expected in this century is likely to result in even less water flow from the mountains, as trees and plants growing higher on the slopes soak up more of the available precipitation.
This finding should be "of great interest to water managers in California," says Roger C. Bales, a professor of hydrology and environmental engineering at the University of California, Merced, who co-authored the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study foresees "a potential widespread reduction in water supply with warming, with important implications for California's economy and environment."
Bales and Michael L. Goulden of the University of California, Irvine, used