Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Ethan Green, Kara Burke Lind discussed on Morning Edition

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Stronger one on a slope of thirty degrees or more dots. The recipe for an avalanche. Though, we're looking to see what it's gonna take to make those weak layers fail and trying to figure out what kind of avalanche is that gonna be perhaps surprisingly Schwartz and his colleagues do not use computer models for their forecasting. No one has yet developed a computer model that can accurately predict the the complexities of an avalanche one area of science that he says has advanced recently is the physics of how snow fractures and releases or start sliding, which is important for modelling, Kara Burke Lind is one of the researchers studying this fracturing he directs the national avalanche center in bozeman Montana. He says even snow that looks the same can vary widely across a slope. There's areas that are going to be center areas that are going to be sicker. The week is going to be a little bit weaker in one spot and a little bit stronger another spot that means in some places, you might trigger an avalanche just by skiing across it. But other places on the slope where you could travel safely. And we don't know exactly where them spots exist. He does have some ideas though, and the more he can pinpoint those spots. The better advice, you can give and the better. He and others can intentionally set off avalanches using explosives when they're trying to reduce dangerous snow built up there's going to be optimal places to place an explosive versus another place. And we don't always know where those places are a newly emerging line of study is how climate change affects avalanches even though specific slides can't be tied to climate change. Some researchers suspect we are already seeing different avalanche behavior. Ethan green heads the Colorado Avalanche information center, he says climate change could mean shorter avalanche season in the fall. More rain at higher elevation a shorter snow season with a much more rapid onset of the melt season. And potentially more wet avalanches earlier in the year in the spring. Wet avalanches usually happen. After snow has. Warmed up either by rain or sun and start naturally. Unlike dry avalanches, which are usually triggered by people. Green also expects global warming will make it more difficult to use.

Coming up next