From the San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 12, 2006
Coping with climate change takes sophisticated analytical tools. In the mountain
environments of the West, it also takes mules, shovels and plenty of sweat.
Noah Molotch, a UCLA research scientist, and Paul Kim, an undergraduate at UC
Merced, had no need for their jackets as they broke ground at California’s
latest global warming research site: a stony Sierra hillside a half-hour’s hike
uphill from an old ski lodge in Sequoia National Park.
A pack train loaded with tools and equipment was due in an hour. But daylight
and decent weather are precious at these elevations. Molotch, part of a weekend
work crew of five scientists and student helpers, had come up with Kim ahead of
the mules for an early start building a new kind of mountain observatory — what
may well be the world’s most elaborate snow gauge.
They are installing a unique network of ground sensors, weather gear and
other equipment to measure how much snow and ice build up each winter in the
400-mile Sierra range — and then see where the snowmelt goes. More >>