The following is excerpted from the Washington State Water Storage Task Force’s Report to the State Legislature (February 2001). The climate change text reflects research results presented to the Task Force by the CIG. For more information on the Water Storage Task Force, please see http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/wstf/wstfhome.html.

Climate change. Most scientists agree that the earth is warming, either from natural causes and/or increased greenhouse-gas emissions from human activity. A small increase in temperature would result in less snow and an earlier melt, reducing the natural storage benefits of the snow pack and producing higher flows in the spring and lower flows in the late summer. A small increase in temperature will also raise the freezing level. Some areas that currently have a snow pack may no longer have any snow after the winter months.”