The Big Island's summits might see no snow by 2100

The Big Island's summits might see no snow by 2100

MAUNA KEA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Snow atop Hawaii Island's summits is an awesome -- and annual -- spectacle.

And it might also become a thing of the past.

That's according to new research from a team of University of Hawaii climate modelers, who used satellite images from 2000 to 2015 to measure snow cover and distribution patterns atop Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

The researchers determined that the summits are typically covered with snow at least 20 days each winter.

They then used global warming projections to see how that would change in the future -- and their results weren't good.

By the end of the century, they said, the summits might see virtually no snow at all.

"We recognized that Hawaiian snow has an aesthetic and recreational value, as well as a cultural significance, for residents and visitors,"said researcher Chunxi Zhang. "So, we decided to examine just what the implications of future climate change would be for future snowfall in Hawaii."

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