Study Finds Warming Winters Present a Serious Threat to Water Quality

Matt Leahy | November 27, 2022
Canadian geese find open water at Lake Massabesic on an early spring day in March.

A recent study led by researchers from the University of Vermont, University of Colorado, University of Kansas and University of Michigan found that climate change poses a significant risk to water resources in New England and the Midwest. 

The report found that climate change has increased cold season snowmelt, the amount of winter precipitation falling as rain, and the frequency of rain-on-snow precipitation events.  These changes in winter precipitation patterns result in the transportation of large amounts of dissolved and sediment-bound nitrogen and phosphorus that had accumulated in soils. 

This study augments the information in the 2021 N.H. Climate Assessment Report  says that by the year 2100 winter temperatures are expected to be an additional 10°F higher by the end of the century and could lead to earlier snowpack melt.