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Sensitivity of soil water availability to changing snowmelt timing in the western US
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The ecohydrological effects of changing snowmelt are strongly mediated by soil moisture. We utilize 259 Snow Telemetry stations across the western U.S. to address two questions: (1) how do relationships between peak soil moisture (PSM) timing and the day of snow disappearance (DSD) vary across ecoregions and (2) what is the regional sensitivity of PSM timing to earlier DSD associated with warming and drying scenarios? All western U.S. ecoregions showed significant relationships between the timing of PSM and DSD. Changes in the timing of PSM based on warming predicted for the middle and end of the 21st century ranged from 1 to 9days and from 6 to 17days among ecoregions, respectively. The maritime ecoregions PSM timing were 2-3 times more sensitive to warming and drying versus the interior mountain ecoregions. This work suggests that soil hydrology modifies the effects of earlier snowmelt on regional streamflow response and vegetation water stress.
|Journal Title||Geophysical Research Letters|
|Rights||In Copyright (All Rights Reserved)|
|Rights Holder||An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2015) American Geophysical Union.|