Tyee Article: Glaciers, BC Hydro’s Melting Batteries

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The Tyee article Glaciers, BC Hydro’s Melting Batteries discusses how “Scientists are trying to figure out how rising temps will change the alpine run-off that helps power the province.”

The article goes on to state: “Why are glaciers important to stream flow, and hydro, in the first place? Matthew Beedle, a PhD candidate at the University of Northern B.C. studying glaciers in relation to climate variability, describes glaciers as “nature’s beautiful time release mechanisms.”

During the long hot days of late summer and early fall — just when precipitation drops off and after all the snow is already gone — is when glaciers start to melt. The gush of icy water replenishes the glacial watershed.

“This is a critical time for salmon coming upstream, and it can also be a critical time for power demand,” says Beedle. “And glaciers are there to contribute to streamflow.”

In a stable climate, glaciers “recharge” each winter when they accumulate more snow and ice. “But unfortunately, in a warming climate, you don’t get that recharge,” says Beedle. “So we’re just drawing from that reservoir.””

The the full article in The Tyee for more information.

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