7. Future mountains with low-to-no snow and ice
The mountain cryosphere provides vast freshwater reservoirs critical to ecosystems and downstream communities. Yet they are harbingers of a changing climate through their sensitivity to warming. A low-to-no snow (L2NS) future, or widespread, persistent, and deleterious snow, ice, and permafrost loss, is possible given increasing temperatures and alterations in precipitation magnitude and phase. L2NS will impose a series of cascading hydrologic changes to the water-energy balance, impacting vegetation processes, surface and subsurface water storage, streamflow, and ultimately water-energy resources and ecosystem function. Strategies for adaptation of livelihoods, power generation, and ecosystem function post-L2NS are rarely exchanged across sectors, research communities, and mountain ranges. This session aims to bring together a diverse set of researchers and stakeholders to exchange successes and failures from regions where L2NS is or will be a future reality and discuss how to overcome uncertainties in estimating the warming level and time horizon of L2NS emergence.